Album Review: The Julie Ruin, Hit Reset

Brooklyn band The Julie Ruin releases their sophomore album “Hit Reset,” and its songs are fueled with bitterness, contempt, handclaps, and group chants. The dance-punk album also has elements of surf-rock, synth-pop, and even a tinge of funk/blues on the song, “Time Is Up.”

As mentioned previously, the entire album is exceptionally bitter. Throughout the album, Evergreen State College alum Kathleen Hanna sings and shouts rancorous lyrics like, “I don’t think you’re sorry at all,” and “Start a Kickstarter for your heart.”

The Julie RuinHit Reset from Brooklyn, NY

Rock/Dance Punk

Label: Hardly Art

The Julie Ruin

Brooklyn band The Julie Ruin releases their sophomore album “Hit Reset,” and its songs are fueled with bitterness, contempt, handclaps, and group chants. The dance-punk album also has elements of surf-rock, synth-pop, and even a tinge of funk/blues on the song, “Time Is Up.”

As mentioned previously, the entire album is exceptionally bitter. Throughout the album, Evergreen State College alum Kathleen Hanna sings and shouts rancorous lyrics like, “I don’t think you’re sorry at all,” and “Start a Kickstarter for your heart.”

The Julie Ruin – Hit Reset

The instrumentation complements the lyrical tone throughout the album. Distorted and fuzzy guitars ring chaotically with aggressive strumming patterns, and synthesizers swell to musical climaxes in multiple songs. Drums and bass usually stay fairly consistent throughout songs letting the lyrics shine or letting the guitar and synthesizer parts be hectic in certain spots.

The album’s closer, “Calverton,” is a stark contrast from the tone set throughout the album; up until this point, we have heard aggressive screaming and songs soaked with that bitter attitude. Instrumentally, we have heard brash synthesizers, harsh guitars, and the bass and drums setting the groove for each of the songs; in “Roses More Than Water” we even hear some Monkees-esque organ tones. However, “Calverton” sets this all aside for a piano and some light, clean guitar tones in the latter part of the song. “You made me think I could fly,” Hanna closes the album.

“Hit Reset” is harsh, loud, and bitter album, but through all this, it manages to be extremely catchy and danceable. Each song has a groove that makes you want to bob your head and tap your foot.

Review by Luke Putvin

Album Review: Kaia Kater, Nine Pin

Kaia KaterNine Pin from Toronto, Canada

Folk/Bluegrass/Blues

Label: Kingswood Records

With an exploration of Appalachian and African-Caribbean roots, Kaia Kater brings something precious to the table with her simplistic, deep, fully loaded vocals. The music she is composing is bountiful and transformative. She keeps the past present and isn’t afraid to explore her core with vast creativity as heard on “Fine Times at Our House” and “White”. These two songs especially grab my attention with her more traditional technique and accompaniment. She is able to convey very lucidly the spirit of being merry and maintain a dim flicker of sorrow. “Harvest and the Plough” has a ghostly reminiscence of New Orleans marching bands. She manages to fluidly express her Appalachian roots with relevant blues references.

Kaia KaterNine Pin from Toronto, Canada

Folk/Bluegrass/Blues

Label: Kingswood Records

With an exploration of Appalachian and African-Caribbean roots, Kaia Kater brings something precious to the table with her simplistic, deep, fully loaded vocals. The music she is composing is bountiful and transformative. She keeps the past present and isn’t afraid to explore her core with vast creativity as heard on “Fine Times at Our House” and “White”. These two songs especially grab my attention with her more traditional technique and accompaniment. She is able to convey very lucidly the spirit of being merry and maintain a dim flicker of sorrow. “Harvest and the Plough” has a ghostly reminiscence of New Orleans marching bands. She manages to fluidly express her Appalachian roots with relevant blues references.

Her music is timeless and lets me gently fade away to a place with sweet sensory induced banjo tunes. The album name Nine Pin originates from a square dance most frequently seen in West Virginia, where she has spent most of her time. With this symbolism portrayed in the album name, you can bet that symbolism will be a common theme song by song. Her adventures exploring old time music has proved to be collaboratively successful, integrating layers of antiphonal qualities with many instruments and incorporating reel and jig like songs.