by Tiana Feng

The Vita Ruins are a indie, shoe gaze, ambient garage group from Washington D.C. made up of Tim Kratzer (Vocal, Guitars, Bass and Keyboards) and Greg Balleza (Guitars, Bass, Keyboards and Vocals). A Day Without A Name released 2010, a long awaited release that brings you to an atmosphere of distortion and electronics with some layered muffled vocals.

1. Godspeed to the Polytheist
2. Seven Suns
3. The Purpose of Life
4. All the Kids Must Be Sleeping
5. Grigg’s Diagnosis
6. I Was Hoping That Our Stardust is in Some Way Connected
7…. Like a Band of Strangers
8. Coffin Dodgers
9. Rabid Men
10. Alien
11. Bad Dream

The really interesting thing about this album is that you have to listen to the tracks in order. They sort of transition into each other and if they personally want to surprise you than there would be a gap.

Godspeed to the Polytheist appropriately begins with organs and introduces the fact that the album will be a ton more instrumental layering versus vocals. Seven Suns their most stand out track is in full out garage rock. It has semi distorted layered vocals but you can still make out the vocals as the words “set my sights to the seven suns”. I dare you not to join in with the addictive “huh uh”s.

The Purpose of Life has clearer vocals that become distorted by the middle and becomes clear again at the beat. This plus the juxtaposition of upbeat guitars against slowed vocals illustrates that the purpose of life isn’t always clear.

In All the Kids Must Be Sleeping the rhythm is turned up in the vocals and the harmony. It’s an addictive little teenage alternative rock anthem that asks “Who’s going to save you now?”.

Grigg’s Diagnosis has a mysterious ambient sound. When I listen to it, I feel like standing in a big empty room, or a field, with my arms wide twirling around in circles. Here it’s like one of those moments where time stands still. There’s an addictive beat at the end that transitions right into the beginning of I Was Hoping That Our Stardust is in Some Way Connected, that despite that beat is a slow ambient track.

…Like a Band of Strangers is a mixture of violins, distorted synth and electronic songs with spoken text. It surely is a bunch of things that don’t normally go together (“strangers” get it?) but works quite well, making the track very appropriately named. For the strangest reason this track makes me think of an airplane coming closer.

We return with hooky vocals in Coffin DOdgers that transitions into a melodic rock track by the end. Then you get the returning organ in Rabid Men as you hear murmuring. In Alien you get weird guitar distortions that sound like UFOs. Ending the album is melodic rock song Bad Dream. The song feels like something that is perfect for a TV show soundtrack on sweeps week, when a series defining event happens. The whole album ends on a satisfying synth chord that brings you to peace.

A Day Without A Name was a successful album. It illustrated their titles in sound and entranced you in a world of songs. It showers the listener with experimentation and is not afraid to take risks. But remember, you have to listen to the tracks in order to do the album justice.

The Vita Ruins- Seven Suns[audio:]


One Response

  1. Matthew

    I really like that some many of the albums you write about our new to me. Even better your reviews are so thoughtful and well written! Keep up the good work :)