LONG LIVE THE RIPPS
CATSKILLS RECORDS 19.3.07
Having heard the name of The Ripps bandied about recently in those ‘look out for…’ poles, I was keen to get this album on and see if they lived up to the hype. And I wasn’t disappointed. Opening track “Loco” launches you straight into the album, with a poptastic singalong chorus and punk undertones (excuse the pun!) that makes that moshing feeling brew in the limbs.
The Ripps, two thirds of Chilean descent (Patch and Raul, guitar/vocals and bass respectively, with British drummer Rachel Butt the rose between two thorns) effectively blend their extensive list of influences with more modern elements, so, while bands like The Clash, The Buzzcocks and Blur bubble to the surface in many songs, there are always subversive elements to keep you interested.
The single-most highlight for me is “Holiday”, which begins a bit like Blur’s “The Universal”, before bouncing into a jaunty two-tone / pop medley with brilliant lines like ‘Afternoon in Wetherspoons, the story begins / a cheeky pint will always end in tears’.
The band cover some pretty gritty stuff across the 34 minutes of this album, from angry, heart-broken lyrics in “You don’t even care”, through “Cov song”, which is all shouting and abuse as it takes a swipe at life in the band’s home town, and “Hypocrite”, which channels its power by chanting ‘You’re a hypocrite’ ad infinitum.
“Benefits,” sneers at people on the Dole, with the chorus ‘No I really can’t be arsed’, and closer “I don’t like you any more” is the ultimate break-up track, being one minute and 43 seconds of vented spleen.
So, like the shots downed in “Holiday”, “Long Live The Ripps” is short, powerful and leaves you feeling a bit disorientated. The trio create a sound that is at once uplifting and depressing, empowered and lethargic, but this is good. Great in fact. It is one of those albums with the capacity to both wake you up in the morning and energise you before a night on the town. Highly recommended.