This is the diary of an album and a tour that may never have existed. US rockers My Ruin had written the majority of their latest album Throat Full Of Heart and were due to hit the studios to start recording when fate dictated a dangerous change of direction. Lead singer and legendary frontwoman Tairrie B was injured in a near-fatal car crash, resulting in a horrendous arm injury that left her hospitalised for weeks, with the very real possibility of amputation. After enduring months of painful skin grafts and a slow, analgesic-soaked recovery, the singer returned to the studio to record the album that she’d been forcibly estranged from.
Live albums are always interesting gambles; some bands translate better through recorded mediums, whilst others truly shine when experienced live. Even bands notorious for their stage energy can have off shows, where no amount of vocal gymnastics and musical genius can summon up that needed je ne sais quoi. Not so with My Ruin. After five albums, four compilations and years of touring, Miss B and My Ruin are not only adept, but also as consistent as ever, and maybe even at their best.
A veritable feast of My Ruin material, the DVD includes intimate footage from all aspects of the Tell Your God tour for Throat Full Of Heart, from radio interviews, press shoots and backstage shenanigans, to lighthearted band banter on the tour bus and even Miss B’s private birthday party at the Camden Barfly in London. The love and unity knitting together both the band and their extended family of tour crew and friends is documented with a faithful humour, and while the press have at times painted her as a dragon, Tairrie is infamous among those who know her for her tactile, playful nature – a quality more than evident in the footage.
The music itself is immense. As brutal and beautiful as ever, the live recordings go some way towards capturing the visceral, leviathan power of live My Ruin shows. Having a foreknowledge of the trauma and pain that invaded the creative process of the songs only heightens their raging, defiant energy. Tairrie has clearly come out of the fire, not unscathed but not defeated either, and this journey of phoenix-like passion is an up-middle-finger to tragedy and a celebration of survival – a must for dedicated fans and the uninitiated alike.
[Cargo/Rovena; October 13, 2008]