Burning Fiction / Ruin it for Everyone
Burning Fiction / Ruin it for Everyone


Split EPs, everyone knows, are a tricky business. The balance between artists has to be calibrated well; the subject matters have to intertwine at least a little. When done right, it can resound for years later: the 1994 Olivia Tremor Control/The Apples in Stereo split was an excellent introduction to the shared aesthetics of those two bands and the Elephant 6 collective. It can be a wonderful amalgamation of genre sub-types, as was seen when Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou – she of more melodic dark metal, they of sludgy destruction – combined to strong effect on last year’s May Our Chambers Be Full.

The new split EP from Burning Fiction and Ruin It For Everyone follows the latter example’s model as it’s really a tale of two sides on the record. Perth five-piece Burning Fiction have been showcasing their fondness for So-Cal punk for over 15 years now and their three tracks are the far more melodious first half of the EP.

Lead singer Matt Brockman’s vocals are clean and possessed of a classic vocal affectation on opener This Lady, making everything sound meaningful and lightly melancholic as the song rises and falls in timbre and emotion. The riffs are heavy and direct on Drifting In & Out, filled as it is with a greater sense of frustration before Geneva Woods closes their part of the EP. It’s an anthemic and stadium-ready track, layered with earnest and serious punk.

Ruin It For Everyone then takes over. The new project of Tom Ware, formerly of Grim Fandango and The Wilderness Years, his latest form takes him back to his skate punk roots. Unlike Burning Fiction, he has no time for melodiousness on the EP. His voice is down and dirty, the rhythm unrelenting. The Human Experience begins the aggressive and abrasive anger emanating from Ware’s bellows. Crunching guitars power Connections as it rails towards its conclusion. Get A Grip is a thrashing and resounding end, freewheeling furiously until the last note. It’s all raw and real and made for a heaving mosh pit.

As a portrayal of the different shades of So-Cal and skate punk, the lighter touch of Burning Fiction opposite the searing harshness of Ruin It For Everyone, this dual EP achieves what a strong split release should. Burning Fiction have said that a four-track record from them is coming soon, while Ware’s new project clearly also has a lot of energy left to let out in the future. Keep an eye on both as they now presumably go their separate ways.