Speak & Destroy

My Ruin

Spitfire Records, 2000


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Tarrie B. sounds like the kind of woman you would most definitely not want to cross. First making her name in rap, then moving on to bands like Manhole and Tura Satana, she gained a fanbase and reputation, but she apparently was not personally satisfied with her musical life.

The end result is more than just an album; it's a person pouring out their soul on tape. Her vision now has a name - My Ruin, and it has a debut effort - Speak & Destroy. It's an exhilirating disc to listen to; it's a difficult disc to listen to. It's a powerful statement of life and the pain one can feel; it's an album whose message grows a little tiring near the end. It's an album of contradictions in both musical style and content, and is a disc that is sure to have you talking about it for a long time afterwards.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

There is no simple way to define what My Ruin is, simply because Tarrie B. utilizes all the musical styles which have shaped her life. There's spoken word, there's industrial, there's hard rock, there's ballads... it's almost as if Tarrie B. wanted to leave no stone unturned in the process.

Normally, such a move does not work; something always gets short-shifted, even if it's unintentional. Fortunately for My Ruin, Tarrie B. hits the mark on almost every style, though the two areas she sounds to be most comfortable with are spoken word ("Terror") and hard-rock-meets-industrial ("Blasphemous Girl"). Imagine what would happen if Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against The Machine merged, dropping the political messages and adding a female singer/screamer. It's an interesting portrait, and one that Tarrie B. paints constantly on Speak & Destroy.

Oh, sure, sometimes the ride gets a little bumpy. Her cover of "Tainted Love" doesn't really add too much to the original track. And occasionally, the formula that Tarrie B. utilizes to its full potential doesn't carry through near the end of the album. Tracks like "Masochrist" and "June 10th" aren't quite as strong as earlier tracks. However, Tarrie B. and crew make sure to hit the finish line swinging, as heard on "Sycophant". The final montage, "'Beware Of God'," reminds me a bit of "Welcome To Paradise" from Front 242, only without any music.

There is, however, one complaint I have with Speak & Destroy - namely, the overall mixing of the album. When you're listening to this, don't be surprised if you suddenly find yourself adjusting the volume up... only to quickly crank it down on the next song when you're getting blown out by your speakers. The overall mix of this album is uneven at times, and is a pain in the nuts to deal with. This particular release featured new tracks from the original; one would have thought that something like this would have been taken care of.

Still, Speak & Destroy has many more positives than negatives, and Tarrie B. should be proud that her musical vision has come to fruition. There is supposed to be a new My Ruin studio album released in 2001; if it's even half as intense as this disc is, Trent Reznor and crew should be ready to make room for another star.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Spitfire Records, and is used for informational purposes only.