18 June 2007 / No Label Required / 12 Trk CD / Filthy Little Angels
By Manuel Ecostos
The charms of Billy Ruffian are translated onto this is intriguing collection of tunes and stories. “Music Vs Money” is already a stand out live track and could be a song taken from a stage play about the music business. It’s Fall-ish, sci-fi riffs are overlaid with some totally relevant comments and observations about our very own opportunistic music scene. Superb. Even though there’s a slight irony to the proceedings Billy Ruffian and in particular singer Stephen Bray, sounds like a slightly more mellow Howard Devoto - which is also reflected in the post-punk, slightly theatrical swings of the guitars and bass on the stand out live track “Death Of A Band” (see also the excellent crawl of “The Apothecary”). “Youth Club” is the definite sound of early 80’s basement new wave. This is an adventurous album as “Masterminding My Downfall” continues to bounce the bass off trumpets and wiry guitars whilst Bray talks a good tale over the whole plot. Whilst the recording has kept things fairly straight and dry it’s an excellent session that captures the spirit of Billy Ruffian's unique and oblique sense of fun and guile.