Note: This review originally appeared in the Illinois Entertainer.
It would be a classic understatement to describe this latest release from Detroit’s veteran troublemakers The Ruiners as a nonstop party. Comparing Happy Birthday Bitch to a Halloween party where everybody’s drunk would be more to the point. Or maybe this is just the way these people act all the time and actually, those aren’t costumes.
Spurred on by Justin Ruiner’s frantic guitar strumming and Rick Ruiner’s bratty, glam rock vocals, The Ruiners evoke The Ramones with the sheer dumb frivolity of “Beer Time” and “Screw You.” On the high speed “Sugar Buzz,” Rick Ruiner lusts for a woman by comparing her to a multitude of desserts, while the erotic “Love/Hate (Eat Me Alive)” finds the band wading into the murky swamp water of The Cramps. Vocalist Nina Friday (The Russian Ruiner) consistently adds to the mayhem and fun, particularly on the electrified hoedown “Fix That Broken Halo” and the spooky tale “Panther Tears.”