Classics: RUFFIANS ‘Ruffians’

With this classic, we go back in time even further than with the latest ‘Classics’ posts. The Delorean brings us back to 1985. In a phase when metal gained momentum and many bands pushed into the market, it was Ruffians from San Francisco that unveiled a brilliant six-track album.

Simply entitled ‘Ruffians’ the debut EP of this five-piece was a blast. The band was founded by guitarists Craig Behrhorst and Chris Atchison, together with drummer Luke Bowman. The trio teamed up with the extraordinary singer Carl Albert (R.I.P.) and Dan Moura (R.I.P.), all together being the line-up that recorded an EP that is still belonging to the (forgotten) classics in metal. ‘Ruffians’ is an album that contains brilliant songs of a band that never made it to the top, neither got the attention deserved.

Each of the six tracks on ‘Ruffians’ is impressive. Things start with the melodic but heavy ‘Fight For Your Life’. Driven by a powerful beat the song comes with excellent riffs and brilliant vocals. It’s an impressive start and it’s ‘Wasteland’ that lifts the bar even higher. The song merges US metal with a breeze of an NWoBHM spirit in a perfect way. The beauty of each of the songs is that they are reflecting excellent songwriting skills, combined with a great sense of power, but also of melodies and hooks. ‘Wasteland’ is the prototype here for.

Also, the B-Side of this EP can easily keep the high standards. ‘Run For Cover’ is an extremely well-crafted metal track, ‘Eyes of Fire’ is very competitive too and the finale furioso is still to come. The ending of this iconic release is the soulful power ballad ‘You’re All I Need’, an emotional outburst that shows the full potential of Carl Albert’s awesome voice.

Ruffians is a band that never received the attention they deserve. The discography isn’t too long and the actual full-length debut was released after a split-up and a reunion. ‘Desert of Tears’ entered the market in 2006 and was another great record penned by this great band, but it’s the EP that’s a milestone in metal, known by far too little metalheads.



  1. Fight For Your Life
  2. Wasteland
  3. Bad Boys Cut Loose
  4. Run For Cover
  5. Eyes of Fire
  6. You’re All I Need


Label: Steamhammer

Genre: US Metal

Release Date: 1985

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