Wilsen make an impressive comeback with ‘Ruiner’

Wilsen - Ruiner
Reader Rating0 Votes

An alluring sound plays through the increasing darkness that this world processes. We can always count on bands like Wilsen to help us forget about world problems for slender moments. Trials and tribulations fight against the tide of optimism, peace often diminishes, and struggle clings onto reality. But, listening to Ruiner, the new LP from the Brooklyn act, there’s a chance of retreating back into the light, a chance of finding something serene in this otherwise ugly, rough world.

The title track starts proceedings; a brightly lit and wisdom fueled beginning. The drumbeat delivers a thump of authority. The chorus details poignant lyrics: “I can be a ruiner / Of the deepest dye / Rubbing out all of the good / With an impartial swipe / Should tomorrow win? / I will Love you right / I-I-I-I.” And, love is tackled head-on. From the very beginning, Wilsen pulls no punches.

Led by the enigmatic Tamsin Wilson, Wilsen don’t overwork the sensibilities of your average indie rock. Their abilities instead are clear, and their hearts beat for the music they create; music that isn’t pretentious isn’t loud and brash but rather touching and emotional.

A feeling of dismay plays its part across Ruiner. Listening, there’s no doubt that despair bubbles like an undercurrent, conveying downtrodden feelings; feelings that actually rip against the grain of the music, adding an organic, natural, almost dream-like dimension.

Wilson’s voice echoes, complementing the instrumentals, while the lyrics drip into the acoustics – never strained or hyperbolic. They’re pieces of orchestrated wonder, words written with verve, imagination, insight, and sincerity.

‘Wearing’ is a song bound in self-reflection. Wilson sings subtly, delicately, and behind her voice, the acoustic sound vibrates on through. It’s a powerful-but-pessimistic slice of realization: “I don’t know what I’m doing here / One away from being new / I fear that everyone goes around it / I hate that I’m not enough for you.’’

Not short of a heart-puller, Ruiner shrinks any unneeded drama for good old cathartic purity. And, understandably, it may not be a record for everyone. Some will crave an infusion of intensity and brazen guitars as well as bitter lyrics to aid them through this unhinged world. But, Ruiner has none of this, it’s gracious and swinging – there’s nothing to stomp about to – it’s pure.

‘Wedding’ is similarly an artful but poignant and expressive track. Wilson sings again with that subtle tone, articulating her empowering lines: “You’ll stand together, you’ll stand tall / Just like the oak tree and the cypress grow / Not in each other’s shadow.” This track shows a different side to Wilsen. A side where they move away from despair and instil a sense of optimism and light into their otherwise dark subject matter.

Ruiner is a classy album. It isn’t a raucous affair, far from it. But, it delivers serene anecdotes and pictures that flood the mind. Tamsin, Johnny, and Drew have created a disc to be cherished here, and, as a whole, Ruiner represents a significant and powerful step forward for the Brooklyn outfit.

Haiku Review
An Alluring sound,
Plays out across the darkness,
Ruiner gone ruin.

Listen to Wilsen on Spotify and Apple Music. Get the latest edition of our print magazine featuring cover star Soccer Mommy, grammy-nominated Black Pumas, Alfie Templeman and more HERE.

Get tickets for The Rodeo’s first live show in May featuring Tiña, SKIA and Darcie HERE.