Monday, May 14, 2012

ALBUM REVIEW: The Ripps - Heartaches + Hangovers

If being in a band is a journey, then The Ripps have travelled around the world several times. The Coventry band first debuted in 2007 with 'Long Live The Ripps' and went on to perform at Glastonbury the same year, storming the indie charts with their 70's punk influenced songs 'Vandals', 'Loco' and 'Holiday'. Brothers Patch and Raul Lagunas experienced the highs of being in a band that was starting to make it big, they were touring the UK and living the dream. But every musician will tell you that the dream can be shattered just as quickly as it was created and The Ripps have endured being capsized a fair few times during their long journey. Thankfully  the brothers never gave up and  their passion for music can be clearly seen in the long awaited follow up album 'Heartaches + Hangovers', released digitally on 21st May and in stores from 4th June 2012.

The Ripps have doubled in band numbers since their debut album, with Alan Ferguson on bass and Phil Cox on drums, Terry Muttitt on keys and Lolly McIntosh completing the line up on vocals. The album title 'Heartaches + Hangovers' might have you thinking it could be a rather somber 45 minutes, but you would be mistaken. This is an uplifting collection of songs that will leave you humming the tunes long before you know all the words!

The album begins with the up tempo 'She's Not All There' - the perfect song to play when you are getting ready for a Friday night out on the town. Lolly McIntosh provides gentle backing vocals with Patch delivering the main lyrics, "She's always in a rush on a Friday night, posing in the mirror she's looking alright, pictures herself in a perfect life with a happy ending." The lyrics continue to grab your attention during 'Anarchy Bridge' a song about heartbreak, with the opening line, "I met you in a crowded room and we danced all night to shitty tunes and you smiled and took me by the hand."  Forget feeling morose in a Morrissey kind of way, the foot tapping beat will leave you feeling happy that you opened your heart up to let love in and experience the pains and pleasures it can bring.

For those who loved 'Long Live The Ripps', the new album has enough for you to join in and sing along, 'Lovesick' is the kind of song you put on repeat and find yourself singing the chorus over and over. Watching The Ripps perform this song live is always a treat and the on stage antics between Patch and Lolly remind me how entertaining the band are. The tempo really reaches fever pitch during 'Lose Yourself', it's the kind of song you can clap along too or have a bit of a wild western jig while on the dancefloor . Once again the lyrics impressed me, "She looks at me with those devil eyes, do you wanna be lonely?, do you wanna get high? I'm asking for trouble and I don't know why...." This is a song about love and how you lose yourself when that love consumes your heart and mind. We've all been there and 'Lose Yourself' relates to each and every one of us.........

The Ripps (*pic by Redwood photography)

Cue the tambourine and maracas for 'Remember Me' as The Ripps get to demonstrate their talents during this musical feast about falling in love and the highs love brings. They follow this up a break up song called 'You and I' , just to keep listeners in the reality loop of the strains and heartaches that relationships can bring upon us. The Ripps then lift us from the doldrums of a broken heart and apply a plaster to our wounds with 'True Colours'  - the sort of song you need to play when you are just getting over a relationship. You know that feeling when you should let someone go, but you really don't want to - even though they've hurt you. This song encapsulates those emotions in just over three minutes and concludes with the lyrics, 'I don't want to let you go.' 

'The Honeymoon Is Over' continues the journey of realisation that a relationship is coming to an end. In typical Ripps fashion - the tune is upbeat and shows how the band have grown up and learnt from the many experiences they have gone through. While the honeymoon may be over, The Ripps prove they have developed and matured their sound with some topical songs about love and life. The album lifts you up with songs like, 'The First Picture Of You' - which starts off quite dark and heavy (a bit like the 'Cov Song' on 'Long Live The Ripps') but bursts into life with the chorus.

The final track on the album 'The Way We Were' is a reflective track that reminds us how people change, just like the four seasons. Even after all the hangovers and heartaches - we still fall in love again. Slowly we open our hearts up and fall in love, removing the plasters from previous relationships by giving someone else a chance to shape our heart.

Previously The Ripps were said to be the new Supergrass, but I would say they are better than Supergrass. The lyrics in 'Young And Lost' say, "we deserve a chance, we deserve it"  This Coventry band truly deserve a chance, they have produced an album to be proud of - all without the funding or backing of a major record company. Their passion and determination not only make them proud of where they come from but also steadfast in the desire to make music. They have journeyed to the heights of Glastonbury and the lows of a 9-5 dead end job yet never given up on their dreams. The Ripps are an inspiration not only for other musicians struggling to make it, but for all lovers of real music. Buy this album and keep that dream alive.......

Upcoming Dates:

25th May – Taylor John’s House, Coventry 
8th June – The Wheelbarrow, Camden, London

For more info contact: Jamie Conlon – or 07811 400 366
Released by: Ghoulish Records 
Release/catalogue number: GHOUL006CD 
Available from: Amazon / Play 
*PIC: Top - David Gover Photography

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