Outside of their big three (AAPS, NITES and Faron Square), the CUZ ME PAIN stable features a handful of bedroom-enclosed artists who have at various times stumbled onto good ideas but have a long way to go until they forge out a unique sound. Jesse Ruins didn’t even get a pity blog post here over the past year – the mysterious musician seemed like a sonic coffee table book, simply hanging around to buff out CUZ ME PAIN’s claustrophobic image. Jesse Ruins was the sort of project you’d turn to on a particularly dry day, when SOMETHING had to go up for fear of dwindling Google-search returns.
Yet here we are two months into 2011, and Jesse Ruins just released three of the best songs the PAIN label has produced so far in its short existence. This trio – part of a split cassette with label mate THE BEAUTY – isn’t totally out of left field, as Jesse Ruins touches on the same Animal-Collective-confined-to-a-studio-apartment flashes NITES has been exploring to great success the past few months. Yet Jesse Ruins manages to avoid just being a biter, breathing some new life into the style. Cassette-centerpiece “Better Than Psycho” starts off like Atlas Sound (who also loves plumbing these depths), all bright twinkles concealing loneliness. Yet Jesse Ruins soon introduces a muffled vocal sample into this whoozy world, letting it drift around. The music picks up again but that ghostly whisper remains, trying to find a way out of the neon mess but only swirling around more, tripping over itself in the process. Closing track “A Bookshelf Sinks Into The Sand” takes a few more obvious cues from NITES “Carcass Of The Sun” with the synths, yet also works in harsh fuzz and an especially creepy growl to make this far more aggressive. Opener “Shatter The Jewel” comes closest to accessibility, teasing at something one could actually dance to but Jesse Ruins makes sure the song remains cerebral enough that the chances of that remain virtually impossible.
These three songs fall perfectly into the CUZ ME PAIN sound – though, this is an ever-shifting label so said “sound” is pretty elastic – yet the overall quality and WHO made these make them stand out from the usual isolated tunes the label promotes. Looks like PAIN has four heavyweight artists now. Listen here.