Bass Drum of Death
The tricky thing about this whole garage band resurgence is that when tools such as, say, GarageBand can be manipulated by even the casual user to a glossy state, simple arrangements of riff-laden power chords spill over easily into the arena of mainstream rock. So three albums in (if the Chuck Taylor fits), let’s call Bass Drum of Death by its name. There’s an insouciant filthiness inherent to any good garage rock, and despite the occasional Big Muff Pi feedback surf, I can’t help but equate the experience of Rip City to viewing an extended GoPro® commercial. Sure, the record sounds really good, the playing is solid, there are plenty of hooks, and even a song that manages to nudge the conversation forward in “Better Days.” Feeling the energy of this band live in the open air is probably a fun time, but having been vacuum-sealed, Rip City doesn’t have enough to say to justify the leap.