Sax Ruins | Yawiquo

Ipecac (2009)
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  July 22, 2009
2.5 2.5 Stars

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After a quarter-century of punishing, hyper-rhythmic acrobatics, drummer Tatsuya Yoshida has taken a sharp detour. Ruins have long been a percussion-and-bass act, with Yoshida as the only consistent element. Although his complicated, visceral, and intricate music has certainly evolved in that time, Yawiquo is his most drastic shift, dumping the bass in favor of saxophonist and Acid Mothers Temple collaborator Ono Ryoko.

Comparisons to "Bass Ruins" will be easy; many of the tracks on Yawiquo are, in fact, classic Ruins compositions reimagined in the Sax Ruins style. "Komnigriss," the dim, murky opener from 2002's Tzomborgha, is transformed thanks to an arresting climax powered by Ryoko's resonant presence. Her soulful wails on "Bupphairodazz" endow Yawiquo with a beauty and color previously out of reach for the band's blunt, rhythmic vocabulary. And she shines throughout the disc, though you're left to wonder about the present state of Yoshida's creativity.

For all that they're brighter, nimbler, and less affected by tedious metallic riffage, Sax Ruins bear a striking resemblance to fellow Ipecac band Zu. Yawiquo adds little to this existing jazz-influenced progressive-rock sound; it's more imitative than innovative.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Acid Mothers Temple
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