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STANDOUT TRACK: No. 2, “Alien,” a gothic, club-friendly recasting of the UFO themes on the Pixies’ Trompe le Monde. The song kicks off with what sounds like a burning spacecraft plummeting to Earth. “I know how to run this world,” frontman Tim Kratzer sings over a sea of flanged, Interpol-ish guitar noise and sizzling drums. The vocal refrain—“So bring your rebels with their troubles”—lends an even darker, Cure-like tint to the tale of woe.
MUSICAL MOTIVATION: Kratzer says that “Alien” has nothing to do with extraterrestrials but reflects a very human appetite for destruction. “It’s about going in and kicking the shit out of someone and not worrying about the consequences,” says the singer-guitarist of the Fairfax quartet, which plays at DC9 on March 10. “I like to keep it vague…[but] it was definitely inspired by recent events.” Guitarist Greg Balleza clarifies: “Like a foreign power coming in and dominating another country.” Still, the Vita Ruins didn’t want to make the point too obvious: “[Kratzer] wasn’t going to say ‘George W. Bush,’ ” Balleza says.
LIVIN’ LA VITA LOCA: “We say Veeta Ruins,” Kratzer says, clarifying the pronunciation of the band’s moniker, which comes from the Latin word for “life.” “[The name] basically means the destroyed stories of people’s lives.” Balleza is quick to explain, though, that they’re not the group of sad sacks that their name and songs might suggest: “A lot of people think we are real negative and bitter, but we like to think we can be fun,” he says.