The harmony-laden, Portland five-piece Ages and Ages returned with their third record earlier this month (released August 19 via Partisan Records), and Something To Ruin is band leaders Tim Perry and Rob Oberdorfer's reaction to the changes our city is currently undergoing. Inspired by Central American ruins—often places where the jungle has retaken the remains of these once powerful civilizations—they also saw their own community being engulfed by forces outside their control. While the population blooms here and buildings rise, the Ages' frontmen felt a little out of control as Portland's landscape and culture shifts.
Alongside bandmates Sarah Riddle, Annie Bethancourt and Colin Jenkins, the group recorded at Isaac Brock’s studio Ice Cream Party and emerged with an 11-song response to our evolving environs.
And while they rail against real estate development and the commoditization of the Portland lifestyle, Perry also remembers that there's a light at the end of the tunnel on "All of My Enemies," which "is about that strange electric surge of sensation you feel, like a million tiny fingers of brutal honestly tapping you gently on your shoulder, reminding you that you are a million miles away from perfect and it might be daunting but don't worry because there is hope for you yet," he explains.
The song "was originally intended to be a cappella," Oberdorfer says, "but it was also really fun to play with a heavy drum beat and fuzzed-out instruments." And although the band "ended up mellowing it out for the final album version," you can now hear that original vocal-only track below. "It was nice to discover that the vocals still worked so nicely on their own," he says.