The Ruts DC

Music Must Destroy

(Westworld Recordings/Sosumi)

Easily the most accomplished of the New Wave English groups of the late 70’s, The Ruts suffered some serious personnel losses and derailments over their years together. But having returned in fiery splendour with an incendiary live album and my dear friend Leigh Heggarty on guitar and bv’s – I have known Lord Dave Ruffy and master bassist Segs since the mid-70’s – The Ruts DC have regained their rightful place as a powerhouse and far-reaching outfit with a social conscience and uncanny interplay when let loose on any stage. You HAVE to see these cats in performance, believe me. There is a reason we are all still playing music and it boils down to the fact that we HAVE to..

Psychic Attack is a storming flying saucer of an opener and when the guitar smacks in at 00:28 you know you are in for a ride. The oppressed narrator might be paranoid or under genuine schtuck, but it hardly matters as the double-stops ride the fast-chugging beat. Segs’ bass uses space whatever the tempo and of course duke of the drums Ruffy is prone to throw in all manner of staggers, emphasis, double-time runs and stick savagery ; Music Must Destroy features Henry Rollins and comes in over a staccato whack before a stately guitar figure presages a rust-treated vocal. The solemn chorus is classic Ruts. Whenever I hosted gigs by The Inmates I used to say that they were the place where power met sophistication but this phrase applies equally to The Ruts DC. This is the sound of revolution, as much as the mighty Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers and the MC5’s Kick Out The Jams were.

Surprise takes a stomping choppy riff and blazing guitar powerchord sustain – “standing where The Devil and The Saint divide” they sing with a snarl. Second Hand Child is tension at a different slower pace and Heggarty tips in a sparky guitar break. Soft City Lights has a hypnotic clipped guitar intro and airy slide sweeps, Segs is in Iggy / Lou mode and pulling it off. To me, The Ruts DC are the most London-sounding of all bands…OK, Madness do the East End knees-up stuff their way, but this band are as metropolis as the MC5 were to Detroit . This cut is heavy but melodic and pretty catchy …

Kill The Pain punches into life, a very sinister vocal is almost spat out. It is on this kind of number that Ruffy excels, channelled power and ideas. (I would not have resisted the lure of the flanger on this one, Leigh !!) Check Ruffy @ 2:00…oddly this almost sounds like a Pete Townshend tune. Peace Bomb takes its time and the guitar chords sing. An extraordinary loping bassline works a treat. Tears On Fire again evokes vintage Who as it commences but the vocal is almost Animal Now-era in tone, no bad thing! The Vox Teardrop was a vintage guitar as toted by the ultra-cool Brian Jones, but this song of the same name kicks off like a Bowie recording then pounds into action with a cool chord progression, the type Heggarty savours as I know from his gigs with me.The wah’d coda lifts the spirits..a real highlight of this collection, fire and fury captured. Golden Boy is an ache of a closer, soft tremelo’d guitar and an exquisite vocal performance.

All this proves that The Ruts DC are smart enough to capture their storming sound in the studio and all of these songs sound stage-ready. My only question…where’s the reggae? Hopefully some will find its way into their future setlists. Anger remains one of the purest inspirations and music one of the best platforms.

Pete Sargeant

(Many thanks to Leigh)


Ruts DC's new studio album 'Music Must Destroy' is out now on Westworld Recordings/Sosumi. 

The band's new single 'Kill The Pain' is released on Friday 3rd March 2017.

In addition, Ruts DC will tour the UK this Spring as special guests to The Stranglers. You can read our announcement with dates, venues and ticket links here:

For more information visit Ruts DC's official website here:

Ruts DC
Ruts DC