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Born Among the Ruins

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Album Review

It would certainly be understandable if someone assumed that Born Among the Ruins was a Goth rock, industrial, or alternative metal CD. The front cover's darkly erotic artwork is very Goth-like, and Born Among the Ruins is exactly the sort of title one would expect from Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, or Spahn Ranch. Then there's the matter of the band's name; Blood Red Velvet is the type of name one would choose if he/she wanted to impress Bauhaus, Marilyn Manson, or Sisters of Mercy fans. But this CD has nothing to do with Goth, industrial, or alt-metal; actually, Blood Red Velvet favors a very jangly, melodic and tuneful adult alternative/folk-rock approach along the lines of R.E.M. and 10,000 Maniacs (two prominent influences). Born Among the Ruins never inspires comparisons to Bauhaus, but the disc has a lot in common with the Rembrandts and Sheryl Crow. And while this 2004 release won't win any awards for being innovative or groundbreaking, the album is definitely solid. Born Among the Ruins doesn't pretend to reinvent the rock, pop, or folk wheel; the material is derivative, but it's enjoyably derivative — and what it lacks in originality, it more than makes up for in terms of quality, craftsmanship, and thoughtfulness. From Bruno U.K. Steiner's Michael Stipe-influenced vocals to his attractive songwriting skills, Born Among the Ruins is a very listenable album. That said, Born Among the Ruins isn't quite as strong as Romeo's Bones (the other Blood Red Velvet disc that Delvian released in January 2004). Romeo's Bones is the more essential of the two, but for those who have already obtained that album, Born Among the Ruins is also well worth acquiring.


Formed: 1999 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Based in New Orleans, Blood Red Velvet is a melodic, jangly adult alternative/folk-rock duo that has been greatly influenced by R.E.M. and 10,000 Maniacs. The twosome has also been compared to the Cure, and another influence -- either direct or indirect -- is the Beatles. With a name like Blood Red Velvet and a penchant for goth-like CD covers, some might assume that the Crescent City residents provide goth rock, industrial music, or alternative metal -- in other words, something dark and haunted....
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Born Among the Ruins, Blood Red Velvet
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