One of the UK’s rising pop-punk outfits returns with another firey single, Ruin. Raging Clue sounds like a South Park reference and mixes classic punk stylings from the 90s. It reminisces bands such as Blink 182 and New Found Glory with more melody-driven artists like All-American Rejects.
With the return of Blink, it almost feels like pop punk is in a renaissance era. Festivals such as When We Were Young in America and a lot of the names on next year’s Download bill highlight the longstanding history the genre has had over the last 30 years.
However, to bring us to the modern day, the trio who hail from Nottingham have been pushing the genre since 2019. As soon as the track begins, Ruin is a song glittering with nostalgia and intense pop-punk energy. What’s nice to hear is that this heavily American-orientated sound isn’t imitated. By that I mean the band doesn’t try to sound like corny or phony pop punk stars.
If you grew up on heavy dosages of pop-punk like myself, the chorus will be the hook that sells the song for you. I found myself subconsciously singing along with only a couple of listens. It’s that sugary punk that is heavily accessible with self-deprecating lyrics and a band name that references erections.
Ruin is a song with chunky guitars, warm vocal key changes pounding snare hits, and quick/successive cymbal taps. Pop punk instrumentation that isn’t kept simple is always a positive sign and progressive pop punk in 2023 opens up many doors for artists. The song’s structure is simply laid out. It features classic pop punk tones and voice filters, but simultaneously that’s what makes it such an enjoyable song.
Vocal harmonies are intoxicating in the verse and smoothly partner the distorted guitar chords. Transitions to choruses are seemless and the high energy takes a vast majority of the track to let up. The healthy song length clocking in around 3:16 packs a real variety of stylesd as the energy changes in the bridge.
Tempos are slower with chords feeling heavier and descending onto the song. Following that the vocals are more stripped back and reveal an innocence in the song. This vocal warm to innoncence really reflects the high-octane to then self-depricating individual the song protagonises.
Before all is said and done, Ruin rides out valiantly on its crowd-pleaser of a chorus and sets Raging Clue as a dyanmic pop-punk outfit.