All Your Sisters
Like many of their The Flenser labelmates, Los Angeles’ All Your Sisters make music that could be broadly defined as industrial but which adheres to no specific template within that broad umbrella term. As on their previous albums the duo of Jordan Morrison and Mario Armando Ruiz show some post-punk influence in their drum machine-driven compositions, but Trust Ruins feels less indebted to rock music’s structures and instrumentation. Instead, the band have zeroed in on pummeling percussion and alternately strictly sequenced and bubbling, organic electronics as a delivery mechanism for their songs.
There’s still a goodish amount of variety to the numbers All Your Sisters deliver within that rubric and toolset. “Dividing Lines” weds a simple drum pattern and angular peels of guitar to an ascending synth basslines, with repeating sections that cycle but don’t conform to verses or choruses. “Window” is almost classically industrial, with its collection of reverbed metallic percussion and snare hits and sea-sick pads which recall SPK of all bands. The title track splits the difference between those approaches to deliver a thudding, throbbing song that grinds itself out over the course of four and a half minutes, with secret harmonic melodies nestled between the yelling and moaning.
What really unifies the record then is it’s almost unrelenting intensity. “Power Abuse” takes a simple repeating vocal figure of “Pain/Fear/Power/The Body” and makes it into a bludgeoning mantra, smashing the song’s desperate, keyboard inflected verses to pieces with each repetition. The gruesome “Self-Medicating” uses warbling off-kilter vocal delivery and processing to add a vicious tension to its calmer moments before shrieking synths and layers of guitar noise wash over the remainder of the song. Even the brief and somber “A Factory of Unpleasant Dreams” makes a virtue of severity; through heavy reverbs and distant crashes it ends up approximating the more fraught end of dark ambient.
It’s a testament to All Your Sister’s dedication to making Trust Ruins a charged listening experience that they place the lone song that could be described as pretty second to last. “The Enabler” is loaded from a lyrical standpoint, but offers respite in its simple application of piano and guitar, a succor that gets subverted by closer “The Deceiver” which turns the same toolset to a vicious, imploding conclusion. Even when they aren’t being directly confrontational Ruiz and Morrison find ways – whether structural or atmospherically – to unnerve. Trust Ruins is a record that lives to get under the listener’s skin, and stay there throughout it’s runtime. Recommended.