Sunday, October 30, 2011

REVIEW: Vex Ruffin - Crash Course EP

Grade: 74% (C)

Go back to the setting of cult film Donnie Darko: The month of October in a sleepy town in the late 80's. But whacked out shit is going on: scary rabbits are appearing in the middle of the night, school water-pipes are bursting, and the world is apparently ending. Now think about the 80's pop that is played over-top all of these things coalescing to the Tears for Fears "Mad World" cover at the films pivotal scene. With his debut EP, Vex Ruffin uses just under twenty minutes to give the feeling of the entire movie through his spooky psych-pop. The disc is both eerie and enlightening, and could be even more mind-blowing if listened to with some additional help (AKA drugs). 

Using simplistic yet driving drum machine produced beats, it makes sense why Ruffin is releasing the EP just in time for Halloween. The record is creepy with it's affected vocals and atmospheric affects; basslines ride alongside the distorted guitar riffs underneath repeated lyrical lines and chilling keyboard pulsing. The seven songs as a whole chug along deep into the night with no real climax, ending with the oscillating, "Hey Jerald." But this isn't a random hook-up where you make out in a dark closet for a half hour and then walk away never thinking about the person again. You're left affected, both in mind and body after spinning Crash Course, reverting back in your head asking, "Did I enjoy that? Or did I not?" Then it's likely that a jet engine will crash into your room and kill you on the spot. 

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