Today I'm going to hip you to one of the best albums you've never heard - probably. I mean to say, it's definitely one of the best, but you've probably never heard it. The Ruined Frame is the solo project of one Rick Weaver, who has been in a string of amazing underground bands like the caustic noise-rockers The New Flesh and the cassette-tape-noise all-stars Form A Log. Yet the Ruined Frame is, strangely, an acoustic and (relatively) straight-up singing-and-songwriting project.
I think there must be something to the noise-rock-to-songwriter story, because two of the bands The Ruined Frame reminds me most of are the Failure-era Swans, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Both are projects where the people involved seemed to have made a decision that they could make more gut-wrenching and soul-crushing music with acoustic instruments than with stacks of amps and heaps of distortion. The Ruined Frame is maybe less dark and heavy than those examples, but, well, if you listen... it does get that heavy. Rick's voice will just slay you. And the musical accompaniment, primarily guitar, but also including slide whistles, kazoos, organ, and it seems whatever else was on hand - is just bullseye perfect at every turn.
Really, I'm just trying to convince you to listen for yourself, because I'm posting this entire album here with the artist's permission. Download this ZIP file of the entire album:
The Ruined Frame "Breath & Pulse" album (ZIP)
or check out this MP3 track as a sample:
The Ruined Frame "Breath & Pulse" title track (MP3)
In a just world The Ruined Frame would be regarded as being in a class with Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, or Neil Young. But hey, Rick is a young guy - that world may yet come to pass.
You can follow Rick's various projects at the Human Conduct Records blog - the label he runs and releases some of his own music on. I also found this very nice interview with Rick Weaver at the Aural States website. He is also currently in a band called Dinner Music. And lastly, I was informed that Human Conduct is still selling cassette copies of The Ruined Frame's "Breath and Pulse" - contact rickjweaver AT gmail.