Wednesday 28 October 2020

Ruff Majik - The Devil's Cattle (Album Review)

Release date: October 30th 2020. Label: Mongrel Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Devil's Cattle – Tracklisting

1. All You Need Is Speed 
2. Swine Tooth Grin
3. Shrug Of The Year
4. Heart Like An Alligator
6. The Devil's Cattle
7. Jolly Rodger
8. Who Keeps Score
9. Lead Pills And Thrills
10. Trading Blows
11. Born To Be Bile (feat. Vincent Houde)
12. God Knows
13. Hymn No. 5


Evert Snyman: Guitar, bass, vocals, percussion, drums, piano.
Johni Holiday: Guitar, bass, vocals.

Drums on "All You Need Is Speed" and "The Devil's Cattle" by Timothy Edwards.
Drums on "Lead Pills And Thrills" and "Born To Be Bile" by Xan Swart.
Keyboards on "Swine Tooth Grin" by Christiaan Van Reenen.
Additional vocals on "Born To Be Bile" by Vincent Houde.


The Devil’s Cattle is the album from South African Psych Stoner Rockers - Ruff Majik - and this album feels like a spiritual successor to QOTSA classic Songs For The Deaf. As this album has a similar type of dark vibe that album originally possessed. Ruff Majik play fast and loose this album and this one is quite different to their 2019 release. 

The album is quite long and complex with the band playing different styles of Stoner Rock that incorporates Psych Rock, Blues Rock, Hard Rock and Classic Rock with the band finding time playing some Occult or Devilish Outlaw Rock in the second half of the album. Yeah, the album could have done with a couple of songs being cut from the 13 tracks being offered here. Though this is still a wild and unpredictable ride into the dark world of Ruff Majik.

The opening two songs - All You Need Is Speed and Swine Tooth Grin - show Ruff Majik’s sense of adventurous style of groove-laiden rock with riffs that QOTSA have written or played for the best part of two decades now but with Ruff Majik playing their own commanding style of Outlaw Stoner Rock.

The vocals are impressive yet again from Johni and Ruff Majik go all out experimenting with their music by adding the odd soundbyte here and there which gives their music an aggressive and violent vibe to it all.

The Devil’s Cattle shows the high and lows of high voltage Stoner Rock with the overall mood becoming quite sinister and gloomy when the second half of the album. I admire the creative choices that the band have made for this album. It may take a few listens to fully understand everything that’s going on but there is a strong collection of songs to impress the listener with such as: Shrug Of The Year, Gregory, The Devil’s Cattle, Born To Be Bile, God Knows and Hymn #5.

The musicianship on show is top-notch as always from the band and the seedy riffs allow this album to become a more daring listen especially when the band start becoming almost a Doom Metal band in the second half which can be quite surprising from where the album started off from. 

The production is not too shabby either with the band on fine form with some huge riffs being played from start to finish. So expect a more direct album from Ruff Majik and the band are taking no prisoners with this this quality release.

Overall, The Devil’s Cattle is a welcome addition not only to Ruff Majik discography but to the world of high concept Stoner Rock/Metal albums currently doing the rounds. This is a band at the top of their game and you never get the same album twice from Ruff Majik. I can’t wait to see what the guys come up with next.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Warren at Plug Music Agency and Mongrel Records for the promo. The Devil's Cattle will be available to buy from Mongrel Records from October 30th 2020.


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