Ripe: The Plastic Hassle

theplastichassleI’ve still got tracks jumping back and forth between open and full hearts, but it’s time to finish this up and write the review. And, really, that situation is a pretty good illustration of where the album sits, quality-wise. Every track is good, but often have something that keeps them just shy of great. The biggest influence, vocally and guitar-performance wise, is Dinosaur Jr.

One of the refreshing aspects of this album, especially in the wake of I Mother Earth’s Dig, is that everything’s very stripped down. The band rarely reaches beyond what they know they do well: fairly tightly-written songs at midtempo with a standard VCV song structure and fairly standard harmonic progressions with a heavy dose of effects pedals on the guitars and vocals.

It’s nice that they don’t go so far outside of their comfort zone that things fall apart, but that lack of reach may also be why things don’t take you to the excited stage too often. It’s a solid piece of craftsmanship, just lacking touches of otherwordly inspiration. Along those lines, the biggest problem with the album is the tendency to sit in the same four-bar progression with overriding riff for too long. The songs could still be tightened up a tad.

Still, a really enjoyable listen from start to finish, and the criticisms are really more lack of higher praise than criticisms per se.

Rating:
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– “Supernatural,” “Centre Of The Universe,” “Daylight Wants To Kill”
– “Something Fierce,” “Moondriven,” “The Plastic Hassle,” “Get Your Shit Together,” “Mother Figure”
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Something Fierce –
  2. Supernatural – Dinosaur Jr. much?
  3. Centre Of The Universe –
  4. Moondriven –
  5. The Plastic Hassle –
  6. Get Your S*** Together –
  7. Mother Figure – dinosaur jr.
  8. Daylight Wants To Kill – L7, Sonic Youth. I should hate this, what with the L7 vocal style and then it just hanging out in the same spot for so long, not being able to justify it’s 11-minute running time. But I like it quite a bit, the tension works well for long stretches and the breakdowns are pretty cool.
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