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Something to Ruin

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Album Review

A band started by Tim Perry with the purpose of making uplifting music with sunny harmonies, Ages and Ages succeeded in doing just that on their 2011 debut. They managed to duplicate the tone on their sophomore outing, despite its being marked by darker, more philosophical lyrics motivated by personal loss. Ages and Ages face a similar challenge on Something to Ruin, an album set against a backdrop of corporatization, gentrification, and exploding real estate prices in their base of Portland. With membership (11 credited here) spread across the Pacific Northwest, it's a relatable topic for those in many other cities, big and small, at the time of its release. The gravity is even captured on cover art that shows elephants roaming the streets of a city in dystopian ruin. Can the music possibly be peppy, especially with titles like "Kick Me Out" and "I'm Moving" among the track list? While the lyrics aren't always optimistic, Ages and Ages' rustic indie pop does deliver on their mission, if it's a bit tempered by a somber reality. The opening track, "They Want More," brings this quality to its lively strummed guitar, tambourine and drums, and sweet group harmonies, all supporting a melody fit for a singalong. Still, that melody delivers the somewhat ominous "They want more than what you got left/And they want more than what you wanna give/And you can't fake the feelings you get/And you can't escape it anymore." The message is brighter on "So Hazy," a melodic rap and group chorale about muddled thoughts that features Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock. (The album was recorded in his studio in Portland.) If, on average, the album's enthusiasm is muted, it's still stacked with infectious melodies, warmth, and Perry's engaging songcraft. The trippier "As It Is" closes the album on a hopeful note: "You're gonna find your peace and anonymity." Though Something to Ruin may not be an escapist work, it does deliver feel-good tunes with substance, and that may prove to be even more of a comfort.

Customer Reviews

a m a z i n g

Quality. Quality. This album is one of my favourites at the moment. As it is was even better live (which is hard because its already so amazing). <3

Different from the last

I really liked their last album a great deal. "Ante Up" was my fave .
There is nothing that remains from the last album on this one. Their direction change
goes right past me and there is little one can recall to sing on ones own.
They should go back to the production, lyrics and catchy melodies they had on the last album. Saes will prove whether I am right or wrong. I am rooting for them however.


Formed: 2008 in Portland, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

When Pseudosix broke up, frontman Tim Perry found himself disheartened by what he saw as apathy in the Portland music scene. As a response to the disaffected crowds he faced, he set out to create a band that would work as earnestly as possible to get out there and try to move people, and in 2008 he formed Ages and Ages. Recruiting a crew of multi-instrumentalists who included former Pseudosix side player Kate O’Brien-Clarke as well as John McDonald, Graham Mackenzie, Daniel Hunt, Rob Oberdorfer,...
Full Bio
Something to Ruin, Ages and Ages
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Customer Ratings