Damn, I had a long week. Working crazy hours and running everywhere from LAX to a garage shop, while editing videos for the podcast and trying to find time to write a new song for Yard Of Blondes; I haven't got much sleep. But here comes Friday night and I’m glad that I can sit back and pour some Bourbon in my glass so I can finally play the new record from Ruin Of Romantics: « Velvet Dawn » (Music Of The Void).
That’s the vibe I needed. I know it from the very first bars of « From Above ». Life slows down suddenly and the world fades away in a blurring cloud of fog. The haunting layers of synths are only disturbed by the pounding drums reverbing in distance and the hazy guitars. A long intro just sucks you right into a world made of gargoyles and roses and it becomes a bit menacing when the cavernous of Vincent Mercier surprises us from behind. Yet soon, we realize these creatures don’t want to harm us. The souls populating those gothic gardens are just desperately romantic. They’re sad but they’re not totally hopeless as the bouncing «7 AM» indicates. I get up from my chair with my glass and start dancing alone as I close down the blinds. Yes, there is life in these shadows and it strives in the dark. « Let me get up » is a beautiful stumbling ballad that keeps tracing the gloomy contours of this well-produced Dark Wave opus and when you think you start acclimating to the obscurity and seeing where this is going, the second part of the song grabs you and throws you right in the middle in a film noir where a haunting saxophone adds a sexy flavor to the mix. David Lynch is not far away and the ghost of Isabella Rossellini’s character in Blue Velvet appears and she’s telling me to follow her. Don’t ask me twice.
On « Bleeding the fields », Vincent Mercier claims to be a devil and like Marguerite, we feel irresistibly lured into the claws of what appears to be now more like the soundtrack to a Faustian dream. It’s not hard to imagine Mephistopheles and his pray making love to the sounds of the entangled driving bluesy guitar and the sinuous synths. As the sex drive keeps increasing, the band, like an experimented lover, suddenly drops the tension with « Ruin You », a beautifully calm instrumental interlude, destined to temper our ardor and dilute the heat. But soon enough, « We Dead hearts » puts us back on the saddle with another sexy mid-tempo hit.
« Blue sick » brings some more diversity to the mix as the obscure shoegazing act transforms into pop ambassadors of the dark world. But again, by the end of the song, you’re taken by surprise, the band triggers our sinful fantasies and accelerates our heartbeats in an unexpected rush of adrenaline, an experimental rollercoaster lead by the synths which ends up right into a beautiful climax on « Helena ». But the band is nice, and after giving you this audio orgasm, they stay for another song, just the time to smoke a « Long Cigarette ». You can get comfy between your velvet sheets, inhale the smoke and stare in distance at the full moon, feeling relieved and relaxed. The journey is complete and our day is over. I can go to sleep and dream of a world tailored for the tireless romantics.
Ruin Of Romantics is not a band from LA but they’re part of our world. Vincent Mercier, the singer is one of those who work in the shadows for our movement Team Nowhere, the collective of artists we founded to help the alternative scene unify. It all started in France in the 2000s and Vince was part of Vegastar, one of the leading bands of the French movement. At the beginning of the pandemic, we decided to revive the collective and this time, as some of us live in the US, we decided to make this an international thing. That’s how we started our podcast and blog and how we ultimately became a label earlier this year.
For his new band, Vincent Mercier is not alone: the Prince of Darkness himself, James Kent, aka Perturbator is the leading force and keyboard player of Ruin Of Romantics. « Velvet Dawn » is the first release of his brand new label Music Of The Void. Medhy Thepegnier and Francis Caste (Hangman’s chair) complete the cast of what it is suited to call a French supergroup.
Velvet Dawn on every platform: https://bfan.link/velvet-dawn