Ruín Bois came into being in the summer of 1994 in Bueu, a coastal town in the southwest of Galiza. As a matter of fact, the band was really three “bois” and a girl, the same line-up throughout their existence: Jose (vocals), Mikel (guitar), Piri (bass) and Sonia (drums). Ruín Bois was born basically out of boredom, an urge to play the music they loved and a wish to put Galiza on “oi! the map”. All of them had some musical experience so it was not difficult to come up with songs in a short period of time. The name (which could be roughly translated as “nasty boys” into English) was agreed on while some band members were totally pissed on a trip back home from the Basque Country (drinking & driving is so much fun, you know!).
The first rehearsals were done under pretty primitive conditions in an unfurnished upstairs room at Mikel’s place. Proof of that is that during the very first practices Jose did not even have a microphone, and Piri had to rely on a borrowed amp for months till he finally got his own!.
After quite a few rehearsals and some heavy drinking, they started to play their first gigs, mostly around the Vigo/Bueu area, but also travelling further to venues like a sports centre just outside Coruña, or even some towns in Lugo. In fact, in about a year or so they’d played with bands such as Malarians, Skarface (ska), Kaos, Reincidentes, Skacha (punkrock) or Iskanbila (oi!), apart from a variety of rock, metal or whatever local bands.
Recording-wise they entered a studio in January 1995 to record their demo-tape, which contained six songs of pure street-punk/oi! sound - ruín style, of course… The tape, just called “Ruín Bois,” was the first production by the Catalonian record label “Plastic Disc”. It was very professional looking indeed (with a colour cover and an insert with lyrics, pics and all). In the end, the band was said to have sold around an incredible 800 copies!, which is really quite a record for any punk/oi! demo!. Incidentally, at the time of writing this, another record label is working on the release of that same old tape in vinyl LP.
Following suit, the next year the German label “Bandworm” selected another track taken from the demo, “Oi! Oi! Music”, to begin the seven inch EP “Europeen (sic!) Oi! / Punk Compilation, vol. 1”. This time they shared the vinyl with The Real Horror Show (Poland), Zona A (Slovakia) & Gyko Schmidt (Germany). And last but not least, another song taken from the same cassette, “Por Ti Mesmo”, was featured on a compilation of Galician bands called “Unión Bravú”, the funny thing here being that the cd could be purchased in most newsagents in Galiza!.
Just around the corner, 1997 would imply the most important year in the history of RB. In February they were invited to take part in a Live & Loud Festival in Belgium, sharing the stage with some of the best oi! bands around (The Pride, Rabauken…) and with Close Shave headlining (it was their farewell gig). That live appearance would mean the premiere of their brand new album “Sempre en Galiza” (recorded the previous year), released on the Belgian label Pure Impact. It must be said that all the bands were just great on that night and everyone present had the time of their lives!.
Another real highlight for the band was to play near Lisbon (Portugal) in the summer of 1997 for the 15th anniversary of the most popular punk/oi! band ever in the country, Mata-Ratos.
The rest of the year was basically spent writing the songs which were intended to be included in their already arranged second album. The new songs were said to be their very best so far, and everyone in the band was really looking forward to going into the studio to record them. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be like that… and not having registered those songs is the one thing they surely regret.
In the meanwhile, they did record a couple of tracks they’d composed a while back. “Agora So” & “Yonki” (as they’re wrongly named in the single), were two really powerful shots, and even though they suffered from a rough production, they were probably two of the very best they’d ever written. As it’s been previously mentioned, the label which eventually issued the tracks blew it and mistook the songs’ names. While we’re at this, it’s worth mentioning that not long ago, the popular Galician punkrock outfit Skarmento recorded one of these songs (on this occasion with its real name: “Un Día Máis”) as a homage to the band (cheers lads!). Firstly, the songs were supposed to appear in a split EP with an American band. In the end, some two years later, the French label “Bords de Seine” was the one which brought them out in a vinyl 7”.
More significantly though, in 2003 there was a joint project between the Catalonian label “Furia Records” and again “Bords de Seine” from Paris to publish a live vinyl-only LP called “15.8.1995” featuring nine songs recorded during a festival just outside Vigo. It offers a typical selection of the songs they used to play at that time, plus a drunken Nabat cover version of “Laida Bologna”, turned into “A Miña Galiza”.
…And here we are twenty years on!, at last holding the so long awaited edition of their album in glorious vinyl!. Here’s a band at the peak of their powers, 13 undiluted working-class anthems, ranging from gritty ditties such as “Violencia” or “Ratas”, paying homage to old faves like Decibelios & Puñetazo Oi! (“Dodot no ha Muerto” & “Zipaioak”), including improved re-workings of “Oi! Oi! Music”, “Por Ti Mesmo” (this time with alternate male-female vocals) and “Outra Máis” (changed to “Just One More” with English lyrics), going through harsh social criticism in “Correcto Cidadán” or “Rock Do Porco Capitalista”, to heartfelt odes to their land in “Galiza Emigración” and “Sempre en Galiza”. No doubt, you are getting here what they were all about: having a laugh but most definitely having a say, their own say… So grab a six-pack, get the shiny motherfucker out of the sleeve and play it as loud as your beat-up turntable possibly can! “Oi! Oi! Music, voz da rúa, o teu voceiro, faite escoitar”. 13 tracks!
- Oi! Oi! Music
- Correcto Cidadán
- Sigi Saga
- Por ti mesmo
- Rock do porco capitalista
- Just one more
- Galiza Emigración
- Zipaioak (Puñetazo Oi!)
- Dodot no ha muerto (Decibelios)
- Sempre en Galiza