FAME Recommends: Love Amongst Ruin

Forget Rocky, Born On The Fourth Of July or the Robbie Williams comeback; there’s a far more down-to-earth tale of triumph by perseverance right here in Love Amongst Ruin.
On the 21st September, 2007 Steve Hewitt parted ways with Placebo, the band of which he’d been the drummer, co-songwriter and rock’n’roll lifeblood since 1996.

After two and a half years spent channelling his energy into a very personal album he now returns as the rejuvenated frontman of Love Amongst Ruin, a multi-faceted hard rock band with the crunch of a stone age queen, the crossover appeal of a parkful of linkins and the melodicism of the hardiest fighter of foos.

Drop in twists of New Order/Depeche Mode electro-twangle, Can/Kasabian motorika, Cure atmospherics and hardcore Metallica riffage and you’ve got a bounce-back of potentially Gary Barlow proportions on your hands.
Steve’s resurgence was inevitable: 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 – the recording studio is Hewitt’s natural habitat.

Recruiting his brother Nick on guitar and Julian Cope associate Donald Ross Skinner as co-producer and guitarist, LAR decamped to Bath Moles studio for two four-week recording sessions over the summer of 2008 which Steve found “very exhilarating, I really enjoyed it. I dealt with it really well.

I had to make sure it was something I could live with afterwards. I was trying to be true to myself.”

Was he worried about taking up singing duties? “It’s another hurdle.

As soon as I got in the vocal booth at Moles, then I realised there was gonna be a point I was gonna have to get onstage and do this. I was nervous then!”

The record they emerged with was a succinct yet wide-reaching beast. ‘Love Song’ finds counterpoint in the distorted vocals and brutal rock pummel of ‘Running’ or ‘Blood & Earth’ and the cinematic Robert Smith shimmerscapes of ‘Away From Me’ and ‘Heaven & Hell’.

Elsewhere ‘Truth’ sounds like Nine Inch Nails covering Sigur Ros, the funk-punk ‘Home’ could’ve dropped, snarling and snivelling, off Kasabian’s ‘West Ryder Pauper Asylum’ and the first two singles ‘So Sad (Fade)’ and ‘Alone’ are worthy of QOTSA and New Order respectively.

Asrock’n’roll all-rounders go, this is a veritable Flintoff of an album.

Joining Steve Hewitt in Love Amongst Ruin are Donald Ross Skinner (co producer / guitarist), Steve Hove (lead guitar), Laurie Ross (cello, keys and percussion), Teresa Morini (bass) and Keith York (drums).

Putting the past firmly behind him, Steve is looking forward to the future. “I’m happy finding my own road,” Steve grins with his trademark joviality. “I’ve got some great people around me, I’ve hand-picked some really cool talented people for the band, there’s a great vibe, I’m enjoying being in a band and enjoying music again. It feels really fresh and full of energy.”

Triumph over adversity? Success snatched from the jaws of defeat? We’re only at scene one and there’s a movie already begging to be made about Love Amongst Ruin.

Love Amongst RuinSingle ‘So Sad’ is out now.
The eponymous debut album released on 13th September
Label: Ancient B Records / Universal