Love Amongst Ruin
When Northwich, England-born drummer Steve Hewitt left Brian Molko's Placebo in September 2007, he had clocked in over ten years with the glam-grunge trio. His next move was to retreat to his home studio with ex-Lamb bassist Jon Thorne. By the end of that year the duo had produced embryonic versions of material that would eventually appear on the 2010 self-titled debut by the Hewitt-led metal-leaning pop/rock outfit Love Amongst Ruin.
An original member of Merseyside's Boo Radleys -- as well as occasional drummer with Tim Burgess' pre-Charlatans psych-pop group the Electric Crayons and early-‘90s charting Welsh house act K-Klass - Hewitt had an eclectic musical background that certainly informed the album. Critics favored its mix of crunching guitar riffs, electronic experimentation, and strong, harmony-filled choruses, while Hewitt openly admitted that the "breakup" themes surrounding tracks such as album-opener "So Sad (Fade)" and the brooding "Alone" were directly influenced by his departure from Placebo.
A large part of the release was recorded over the summer of 2008 at Bath Moles studio with assistance from Hewitt's brother Nick and longtime Julian Cope collaborator Donald Ross Skinner. By the time of their debut London shows in summer 2010, Hewitt had assembled an array of skilful indie rock players. While Skinner had helped to produce the album, he also became a key member of the touring band. In addition, Steve Hove appeared on lead guitar, while Laurie Ross appeared on percussion, cello, and keyboards -- both were Bath-based musicians. By their third show, the Rome-raised singer/songwriter Teresa Morini had replaced the blues-rock-focused Magnus Lunden on bass. Finally, in lieu of playing the drums himself, Hewitt recruited the experienced Keith York -- an occasional touring member of Broadcast, Ladytron, the Orb, and the Lightning Seeds. In support of the album, the group set off on an extensive autumn 2010 tour of Europe. ~ James Wilkinson