Ruth has been a summertime favorite for me since I discovered this band a few years back right after they released Anorak. So as you can imagine I was pretty bummed when they kind of broke up a year or so ago. But now the indie rock band is back with another sure-to-be summer hit in Payola. If you are not familiar with Ruth they are out of Battle Grounds WA and were signed to Tooth and Nail for a while before going over to Hype Music. They have toured with Relient K and Falling Up among many others.

It is hard when an album only has seven songs so it isn quite an album yet not an EP either. Payola follows the same pattern of past Ruth projects but has more vengeance and less day-dreaming. Over the past years Ruth has refined their style making this album their best yet and that is saying a lot since Anorak was one of my personal favorite albums from ’08. Hopefully this time Ruth will make some money and they won’t have to break up because this album is one giant killer. Anybody who wants good independent music will have to add this to his or her collection. It is one of the most original albums released in the Christian indie scene this year.

Payola is the third LP from Ruth and is their best. It contains memorable melodies and this magical touch I can’t put my hands on. I would start out listening to any of Ruth’s albums but this one has something that caught my attention something the other releases didn’t quite have. I would recommend to anybody to start out with Payola. This album will rate high up on my list of top-ten albums of 2012. Hopefully this isn it for Ruth.

41/2/5: Pure Genius from the Northwest too!

Brian Morrissette