News From The Front   

The forgotten singer

Does the name My Ruin ring any bells? There is very little media coverage of the band on our side of the world and in fact very little in the States, in their own country. Despite the indifference towards the band shared by three quarters of the metal public, the band are bravely releasing their eighth album, Ghosts And Good Stories, in August this year.

What is My Ruin like? Some heavy riffs with a rock n roll and metallic sound at the same time. The band could be placed between the gasoline guzzling southern rock movement and Motörhead. In fact, since we are mentioning the American band, it could be said that Mick Murphy (guitar) shares a slight physical resemblance with Lemmy. Two adjectives to sum up My Ruin’s musical aspect: virility and machismo. That’s when the vocals come up and everyone is left dumbfounded. The music is a “soft” feminine voice of a frail young lady throwing all of her hatred and rage at you. This is where the band’s originality lies: in the contrast of the music “for guys and only guys” and female vocals.

After having listened to one of their albums, you might think to yourself “it’s all nice and all but it’s a bit repetitive”. However, Slayer presented us with the same kind of stuff for years and look where it landed Kerry King’s gang today. In the case of My Ruin, we are inviting you to take a deeper look. First of all, it is good old heavy sounding metal which is always fun. On the other hand, pay attention to the vocals. The singer, Tairrie B expresses all of her anger as though her life depended on it and it was her last chance. Her performance is “real” and comes straight from the heart. Isn’t this one of the things we expect the most from singers?

As you may have guessed, “Miss B” really is the key element in the band. It could be said that when you consider female singers such as Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy), Tairrie’s performance is nothing original and could get lost in the background. However, looking at the band’s history, the tattooed brunette has been a part of the metal industry since 1993, before Arch Enemy even existed since the Swedish band formed two years later. However, we told you that My Ruin began in 1999. Miss B started off was made famous by another band that you might know. The band Manhole, later changed to Tura Satana for legal reasons.

The female vocalist sang in a completely different way at the time. In fact, Manhole was a rap/metal band. This was not a common style at the time since the only other famous bands were Body Count and Rage Against The Machine. Manhole’s vocals were rapped with punctual screams similar to Zach de la Rocha’s (RATM) style. Therefore, Manhole was an innovation in the world of female metal bands.

During this period, female figures in the rock industry were joining forces in the feminist rock movement featuring L7, The Breeders and even La Tigre. As a result, Manhole was still a misfit. In conclusion, it could be asserted that Tairrie B was a pioneer in the world of metal and the first singer to be shouting her vocals, even though they only featured punctually. It was a very touchy situation in which Miss B placed herself within Manhole: “Everyone was saying that I was crazy. They said that I didn’t have the slightest idea what it was like to be in a band. Even my boyfriend and my friends were asking me what I was doing in a metal band”.

The beauty was able to evolve and impose herself in the closed and male dominated industry. As a precursor, her influence on the public meant that other women gave it a try. What seems strange is that when these other singers from the metal scene are interviewed, none of them even mention Tairrie B as an influence. Even though she is not technically an exceptional singer, her path deserves to be mentioned.

Their name is unfairly forgotten. However, we will say it again, even though her technical capacities are limited compared to others, the sincerity of her performance and the fact that she was one of the first to impose herself in an industry where she was not wanted, makes her irrefutable figure in the metal world.

My Ruin is a name that must not be forgotten starting from today.

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