Label: Bridge9 Records
Prepare to be Let Down? Hardly. The debut album from American hardcore band Ruiner might have had a self-effacing title, but far from letting the listener down, this is one of the most urgent, emotionally devastating, and ultimately excellent records you could possibly listen to. Moving with a desperate pace, self-destructive urges, and sense of nihilism, this is the soundtrack to an emotional breakdown; uncomfortable, bleak, but oh-so cathartic. Bridge9 have a stupidly strong discography, but Prepare to be Let Down is one of the best things the label have ever released.
Whilst a lot of hardcore bands use the genre to espouse a positive mental attitude, or write lyrics full of self-belief and confidence, Ruiner are all about confronting your demons – of which there are multitudes. The song titles sound make it clear that you’re in for a bleak time – ‘Bottom Line: Fuck You’; ‘When The Mourning Ends’; ‘The Lives We Fear’. This is, frankly, some heavy shit, with lines that cut like a knife, such as “I’m inspired by the fact that I can still get out of bed” from ‘That Stone Better Be On Fire’ really getting to the core of depression. This is an album of lived experiences, countless scars, and a sense that nothing will get better. It’s also one of the best hardcore albums I’ve ever heard, and one that I appreciate even more now than I did upon release eleven years ago.