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Ruff Majik - The Devil’s Cattle Award winner

Ruff Majik
The Devil’s Cattle
by Barry Valentine at 07 October 2020, 12:43 PM

 “Ruff Majik is a crazy ass five piece band from Pretoria, South Africa who formed back in 2012. With their own sort of rot and roll that they are quoted describing as “feel good apocalyptic music best enjoyed during long drives, or speed benders”. Playing to sold out shows, and releasing a new single on Sept. 25th, they have a large fan base and are highly reviewed. The first song on the album All You Need Is Speed” is an all out sound from the early 2000’s with a fast paced memorable riff, and tone. The singer, and sound reminded me of that era rock, and quality was’t the best, but the lyrics were easily heard, and the song was pretty good.

The next song Swine Tooth Grin” definitely shows some influence from “Queens Of The Stone Age” with the sound, and with the tone of the vocals. It starts us off a couple spoken verses before going into the meat of the song. It's a really good song, I thought it was performed well, the sound wasn’t bad, and with the intro to the end really fit together nicely. The following song Shrug Of The Year” is my favorite so far. The intro “It's hideous, and it’s eloquent, expresses modern man in all his self pity” then right into a jamming song. An awesome groove riff, breakdown, both guitarists play solos at the same time, very memorable chorus, and a great song. I listened to this track 5x in a row, I dug it!

 I’m going to jump ahead to the fifth track Gregory”. A change up from everything before with this with just the drum and bass mostly playing through the first couple verses. I really liked the way the lyrics were done with the music, the feel of the song telling a story of a man. The change, and emotion at the end I didn’t see coming but a good way to end it. The next song brings us to the title track The Devil’s Cattle”, a very distorted song. If they can get a higher sound quality, these guys could really blow up some shit. They really have a good style, and tone. I just wish the recording was just a bit better, but the song isn’t bad. It definitely has a “Queen Of The Stone Age” sound, but these guys make it their own. A well wrote, and performed song.

I’m going to jump ahead again to track nine Lead Pills And Thrills”. They’re releasing the single, and video to this song on Sept 25. It’s another change of pace from earlier tracks starting off with a piano intro then going in to their unique style. I like the singer’s voice, the tone, and flow of the song. These guys really make this style, and sound their own. I think I’m going to finish this review with the second to last song God Knows”. With the guys continuing to show the range in their style, and sound, this song starts off with an acoustic guitar playing while the singer pleads his heart out. A totally different song from them all with the tempo, and as they go into the chorus this heavily distorted guitar belts out a slow, dark solo as the chorus increases in pitch. Another really cool song.

Overall these guys are really cool. I do wish they had a better sound guy in the studio, if they can hone that in, they will be big. It’s no wonder why their selling out shows, and the many highly praised reviews. They have a great chemistry together, song writing is good, and the band compliments each other.

Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 9
Musicianship: 9 
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

1. All You Need Is Speed
2. Swine Tooth Grin
3. Shrug Of The Year
4. Heart Like A Alligator
5. Gregory
6. The Devils Cattle
7. Jolly Rodger
8. Who Keeps Score
9. Lead Pills And Thrills
10. Trading Blows
11. Born To Be Bile
12. God Knows
13. Hymn #5

Johni Holliday - Guitar, Vocals
Cowboy Van - Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals, Keys, Harmonica
Jimmy Glass - Bass, Guitar
Evert Snyman - Guitar, Vocals,Keys, Percussion
Benni Manchino - Drums, Percussion

Record Label: Mongrel Records


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Edited 15 April 2021

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