The Ruse Review - Residency at The Viper Room


The Ruse live at the Viper Room in Hollywood

Though the raucous days of The Viper Room have long since passed, and justifiably so, The Ruse filled the venue with an excited and involved fan following, who watched their every move and mouthed each and every lyric. So it came as a welcome surprise that a band who lists U2 as one of their inspirations, could fill up a room where the ghosts of yesteryear's rock gluttony are still present. Speaking of ghosts, the sounds of U2 were clearly evident from lead vocalist John Dauer. Those who appreciate the U2 sound will no doubt appreciate The Ruse. That is not to say, however, that they are U2 "in a nutshell."  The group very much has it's own unique an defined sound and conveys it quite clearly in its debut album "INVASION".

Jason Young on drums

The Ruse was conceived in 2003 in New York City, when singer John Dauer, guitarist Jim Bilus and drummer Jason Young joined forces with Atlanta bassist Mark Stolze and that is where they formed a healthy following. The group released its initial album "INVASION" in Februrary of 2005 and subsequently embarked on a cross-country tour and are now entrenched in Los Angeles.

The Ruse’s most recent CD, Light In Motion, released in February of 2006, is a strong offering from the relatively new band and offers rich, melodic, smooth sounds. According to one fan, "Their melodic strengths coupled with genuinely well played music is an awesome combination. The lead singer is very soulful and clean with his delivery. I've seen them perform live three times and their shows continue to get more and more exciting. Of performances I've seen live, Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5, and the Ruse are the only one's who meet or exceed the quality performance of their studio CD."

As a testament to their popular appeal, their music has been featured in several episodes of MTVs eality show "The Hills".  Needless to say, fans, exisitng and future, can expect a lot from The Ruse in the upcoming years. The tight-knit group performs well together on stage and seem to be in perfect harmony with each other.

The  Viper Room remains one of the area's more appealing live music venues, despite the attitude of the doormen, who no doubt are still living in the exclusivity/snobbery nonsense of yesteryear.  Top bands perform there nightly and acts such as the Stone Temple Pilots, Tom Petty, and Iggy Pop have been known to stop by for the occasional surprise appearance. Dancing is also featured every weekend in the Viper Room's upstairs main room.  The innovative, meldious soudn of the The Ruse can be heard on Thursdays. 

The Ruse, with Jim Bilus (guitar), John Dauer (vocals), Jason Young (drums), Mark Stolze (bass)

Performance Photos by Ian Leadon

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