This Becomes Us – This Becomes Us (2016)

This Becomes Us is the solo collaborative release from Future Of The Left (and not forgetting ex-Million Dead) bassist Julia Ruzicka. This debut contains ten tracks of absolute pure gold, featuring a different vocalist on each track, including Black Francis from The Pixies, among others. Opener “The Picture of Delorean Gray”, is a cracking little number; a nice and fast-paced, hard-hitting, fuzzy, punky number that leads into the bouncy “Undervalue Love”, which has a kind of dark pop vibe to it.

The third track – and a possible favourite – is “Big Hitter” (featuring the vocals of Billy Mason Wood), which has quite an At The Drive In sound to it, I’d say. Absolutely love this one. Not to go for the obvious and lazy review, but “Painter Man Is Coming” (featuring the vocals of Black Francis) has such a nice Pixies vibe to it. This is a lovely track, and is very reminiscent of some of Pixies’ finest work at times. Another favourite from this release.

I would describe “At The End Of Everyday” as having a very early 2000’s kind of sound; I’m thinking like that original emo/post hardcore sound that was starting to come out around then; Cursive, Rival Schools etc. vibe I’m getting – it is refreshing to hear, either way!

The short and sweet “Simple Too” leans towards a distorted-yet-arty punk type of sound, leading into “The Gift That Nobody Wants”, which sounds very Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster-esque, “Songs In My Mind” is great, really like the vocals on this one, a catchy little punk number with some powerful female lead vocals from Chantal Lewis-Brown. “Sassessa” is cool; a more laid back number compared the rest of the bunch, yet still upbeat and driving. The album’s closer “This Horse Needs Peace” is a well-placed last track to the record, and a subtle instrumental outro to the whole thing.

Overall though, This Becomes Us – despite having a different collaboration on each track – still does the wonderful thing of managing to sound like a fully flowing, coherent album and not just a compilation of songs. As solo projects go, this is exceptionally well done!