Ruin – Fiat Lux

Ruin – Fiat Lux (Meta Meta Records) 1986. Let’s face it, trends come and go but style is something you either have or you just fuckin’ don’t.

So one of the best things about doing this site is getting to meet people from all over who share similar tastes in music with me. Or more to the point, respond to the music at the same level I do. This has been the big plus for me and has made all the uploading, typing, researching, scanning worth it.

If you like what’s going on here, feel free to drop me a line at joe@lastdaysofmanonearth.com. Better yet, send me some tunes that I may not have heard before. There is a whole world of demo tapes, obscure 7inches and 4-track recordings out there that I have not heard and would like to. If you have something you think I might like, let me know.

This one came from George in Philly. It was prompted by my Barking Wheels post from a few weeks ago wherein I lament about not knowing much about the Philly scene. I basically whined like a big sissy about not getting to hear Absence of Sanity (thanks Eric!).

Well, as anyone from Philly can probably attest to, Ruin were THE band. I had heard of them but thier recordings were pretty damn obscure outside of PA. They were an intriguing band; hardcore Buddhists playing hardcore punk and I had heard the stories about them playing in ritualistic white outfits with candles on the stage. How did the candles not get knocked over by stagedivers? A question truly for the ages.

To really understand how a bunch of Buddhists could end up playing hardcore, you have to sort of time travel back to the mid 1980′s. Think Bad Brains (Rastafarianism). Think Cro-Mags (Krishna). Think Youth of Today….OK, actually skip that last one. Ruin recorded thier material a little late in the cycle and that may have hurt them a bit from a historical sense. No listing for them on Flex for instance. I sense a Revolution Summer-type vibe in the recordings as well and see a lot of similarities to bands like Beefeater (minus the funk).

These tracks are from the Songs of Reverie and Ruin comp that came out in 1996. I considered posting the whole thing but believe a movie and retrospective are coming out soon about Ruin and I do not want to steal any thunder from the band.

Its also worth mentioning that the George Hurchalla book Going Underground is an excellent read and has lots of cool info about the Philly scene in the 1980′s.

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7 Responses to Ruin – Fiat Lux

  1. Erich says:

    Great stufff and insightful words again! And I was just ready to rip the first RUINS lp for me li’l shitblog … Guess it’s not that necessary anymore with this.

  2. OTTO says:

    Love Ruin… especially the Leonard Cohen covers! I mean how off the wall is that for an 80s band playing primarily to hardcore kids. Like McRad amd YDI, Ruin was a local band for me as a young’un, and they remain one of my absolute favorites. From LP to cassette to MP3 rip, Fiat Lux has been in heavy rotation in my house for 20 years. Nice to see them getting some of the attention they richly deserve.

  3. Anonymous says:

    RUIN opened for Soldiers of Fortune
    (reunion gig), Red Kross, and Agent
    Orange at the Stone SF around ’84(?).
    It was my first show and I had no
    idea why these guys were all wearing
    white and were holding sparklers
    during their last song. I remember
    they were really good, but barely
    anyone was there yet to see it.
    Thanks for the post.

  4. Anonymous says:

    As another Philly kid who grew up going to Ruin shows, I am thrilled to see them getting some recognition outside of PA. And I too am amazed that we didn’t burn down the Kennel Club or some other place by knocking over their candles. Funny thing: I loved the Leonard Cohen tracks – especially Master Song – for probably a decade before I ever heard of Leonard Cohen.

    Cordy Swope from Ruin now runs a research and product development consulting firm. Ruin always did have good design sense…

  5. David George says:

    Ruin was a great band. Awesome songs and presentation. We (76% Uncertain) played a show with them in Bensalem, PA (near Philly). They came out all dressed in white. Blacklights on the stage made them look otherworldly. They rocked. Loved that show. The whole band did. We do a cover of “Proof” to this day.

    Dave

  6. b says:

    ruin, all in white, in the back of abe’s steakhouse, ’87? i agree with otto, fiat lux has always been on my turntable, i whip it out for friends who dont’ know constantly. no one’s mentioned their cover of “white rabbit” that absolutely fucking rocks, harder than the original, and live would just go on and on. i always appreciated the fiat lux version to the one that ended up on the 90′s compilation cd, but whatever. their reunion gig in ’96 or so was nuts, makes me misty just thinking about it. speaking of the other philly bands otto mentioned, philly has a “legend of philly hardcore” show coming up in july with both McRad and YDI, and other philly legends Pagan Babies and FOD. i’m gonna bring a gun and blow my head off after the last set, it’s gonna fucking rock

  7. mouserr says:

    Ruin was great saw them many, many times mostly at abe’s or the kennel. I walked by abes the other day on 40th st and the shop is gone but the sign remains. I should take a picture before they drop that too. Philly had so many good bands but as other attest ruin was always at the top of the list for me. Other ruin era notables that I havent seen mentioned include homo picnic, serial killers, she-males, the warm jets, trained attack dogs, scab cadillac, and im sure I forgot a few Thanks so much for this would love too see the whole records as I dont know how to rip vinyl .

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