Monday, September 17, 2012

She Ripped on PRF Records

Jake from She Ripped, a four piece out of Wales, sent this over a few weeks back. It's always a little unbelievable that a band working off thousands of miles away in another country would think of sending their single in for review. It's a miracle nothing happened to the tiny vinyl and I was checking it out over the weekend.

A-Side's "Ultra Social Happy Man" is aligning itself with post punk in it's mechanical use of "Dr. Rhythm" who's credited on the reverse of the single and may or may not actually be a real person according to Facebook. The nearly deadpan delivery of Jake Healy's vocal, never getting overly emotional but settling for that Prinzhorn Dance School style of minimal delivery is combined with Gang of Four style anti-social themes that unsuprisingly still apply today; becoming numb in societies conventions and the daily grind wearing away any sort of passion for anything. That's the trade off in modern culture, with all it's comforts and security, the struggle is gone…and you get "ultra-social happy man". The track is one of those deceptively dance centric numbers, poppy and pounding away the uptime with a heavy on the edge of feedback distortion. It's as if the song itself is reflecting that mindless style but She Ripped is still going to make you get off on it. The guitar lines are tough and take liberties running this riff through the paces, driving alongside an equally gritty baseline…there's a hint of peaking, fuzz in everything but the vocal and that direct guitar. Like the Relations on 100m records, they're taking those great elements of post punk and putting their own, still appropriate spin on the content.

B-Side's "Mind the Gap" comes a little bit harder and that machine, and I definitely mean a real person, is back… and let me tell you, no electronics are going to pound with aggression like this. Coming off like an unearthed Shellac track, minor heavy hitting rhythms, the beefy distortions clipped and hard, carry along with them that line of rumbling dirty bass that always sounds like a punch to the gut. Going from that reflective post Wire style to something more dangerous and on the offensive. "And We Know" has Jake attempting a melody here, sounding a lot like Eddie Argos' style of bizarre storytelling that has equal parts folk and rowdy punk… there's an air of not trying so hard or letting your guard down. This is a precise, emotionless affair in vocals only, working against the direction of the huge barrage of sound. As noted on the sleeve a "doomed bedroom rant", the delivery as much a statement of that apathy as any mental scream. He does go off the rails at the end, and maybe there's some humanity left after all?

On black vinyl with an appropriately cynical insert of a table of contents from a cheesy book about making it in the music business. Import from the band direct.

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