Artist: Love Amongst Ruin
Album: ‘Lose Your Way’ released on 29th June 15
Label: Ancient B
‘Steve Hewitt is building a formidable electro noir rock career as Love Amongst Ruin… Summoning the gothic solemnity of The Cure and adding wafts of modern shoe gaze, he creates an artful brand of arena rock.’ – NME
‘The dark and dirty Swan Killer and the pummelling So Close are reminiscent of Placebo themselves’ – Q Magazine
Love Amongst Ruin return with ‘Lose Your Way’, the highly anticipated follow up to their critically acclaimed eponymous debut album, on 29th June 2015
When you’re bouncing back, you live for the next ricochet. Having poured all of his confusion and frustration over being removed unexpectedly from the drum stool of Placebo in 2007 into the eponymous 2010 debut album of his own project Love Amongst Ruin, Steve Hewitt ended the promotional tour full of creative fire. “We’d launched the band and made our presence felt,” he says. “Critically acclaimed record, it did really well, we gained a lot of fans and established everything. It was well received all round Europe so job done.”
Well, job begun. Launching LAR had been an emancipating process for Steve, a mission to prove his musical worth not just to the legions of Placebo fans avidly waiting to see what he’d do next but also to himself. Having served time at the stool of such diverse acts as The Boo Radleys, grit-rockers Breed, baggy chart stars K-Klass and Placebo – with whom he tasted huge global success, sharing the journey from post-Britpop indie hype band to multi-million selling international superstars – he had a lot to live up to, and the succinct yet wide-reaching ‘Love Amongst Ruin’, with its twists of New Order/Depeche Mode electronica, Can / Kasabian motorika, Cure atmospherics and hardcore Metallica riffs, had firmly positioned him as an alt-rock contender in his own right. Now Steve emerged from the tour with new songs already written, tighter and more accomplished songs largely free of the bitterness and bewilderment that had driven the debut.
Billboard premiered the video for the forthcoming single ‘Modern War Song’
Finishing the writing process at home during March 2012, Steve threw himself back into recording, returning to the Bath Moles studio, where the first album had also been made, for a four-week session. His recording team was stripped down this time, just himself and Julian Cope associate Donald Ross Skinner playing everything on the album and producer Dan Austin adding a sonic maturity to the material, an approach gleaned from his work with the legendary Gil Norton. “I had the whole record ready but I wanted to work out with Dan and see,” Steve explains. “With [first single and title track] ‘Lose Your Way’ we nailed it and it was like ‘right, you’re in’.”
‘Lose Your Way’ became a central fulcrum of the record, a totem of the swings and diversions Steve’s life and career had gone through. “It’s how you can find things you love at certain times of your life and pursue and years down the line you’d actually rather murder it and hate it. So it’s how your perceptions change as you go through life. Do you actually know where you’re fucking going? It’s trying to explain life’s difficult path.”
And ‘Lose Your Way’, the album, certainly sounds like an artist over the hump, head high to the future and all engines gunning. The title track is a dark, confident slab of rock noir at its finest (“I can’t believe you killed the word of beauty,” Steve wails like a suave rock Dave Gahan), ‘Menace Ballad’ brings a swarm of psychedelic intrigue to a track that will win over fans of experimental post-rock and ‘Modern War Song’ takes an ethereal, ominous overview of Western imperialism that builds to a cataclysmic climax. It’s an album that embraces finely wrought atmospheres and artfully coiled emotion on the lush Cure melancholy and loss of ‘Oh God’, ‘Watch Myself’ and ‘Paper Tigers’ – it’ll be no surprise to find The Cure’s Perry Bamonte on live bass duties come the tour – as well as the flamethrower fuzzrock of ‘Swan Killer’.
The record gestated for two years while Steve spent time on other projects, producing for Italian act Spiral 69, producing and playing with French band Lys and joining Nottingham’s acclaimed post-rock monsters Six By Seven for a year – their ‘So Close’ even makes an appearance on ‘Lose Your Way’. “I’m all over the shop, like a rash,” Steve explains. “Twenty odd years of being in bands, if you haven’t learnt anything by then there’s something wrong. It’s nice to do something different, it’s a challenge.”
Prior to the album’s release, the single ‘Lose Your Way’ emerges, accompanied by a video wracked with decay – food, flowers, paintings and buildings all decompose and crumble, only to be reborn with added life and energy. It’s Love Amongst Ruin in a nutshell: a brilliant rejuvenation from the dust. Embrace the Ruin.
1. Lost Your Way
2. Modern War Song
3. Watch Myself
4. Swan Killer
5. Paper Tigers
6. So Close
7. Menace Ballad
8. Oh God
Reviews for LAR’s eponymous debut album:
‘an impressive debut’ – Rhythm
‘The new princes of rock are here.’ – Big Cheese
‘Wide-reaching rock, hooky guitar lines and melodic choruses replete with dark undertones.’ – Rock Sound
‘a collection of songs that deliver a harder rock kick than his former outfit, albeit one tempered with bright melodies and a sinuous, Queens Of The Stone Age-style groove.’ – Kerrang!
‘A pounding statement of intent, full of shimmering, driving guitars, but pinned together with dark, ominous undertones.’ – Music Week