31 March, 2012

Recent Love (Psychic Welsh Bastard Edition)

She Ripped, "Ultra-Social Happy Man" single
I've been sleeping on this one for a while and I've been giving Jake a string of excuses. At least last week I had a valid reason for not getting to it, what with lopping off the tip of my thumb (hey, now I know the blade's sharp).
Anyway, having only thought I might have heard She Ripped before, if I hadn't, then this is the perfect intro to the band: Three songs, just straight-ahead rock sans gimmicks. What else could you want?
The A-Side kicks off with a fuzz-bass line over a quartz clock motorik-esque beat, it's the kind of energetic kick starter to an evening of carousing that could accompany the opening shots of the "Smack My Bitch Up" video; you could do a line or two of coke off a jewel case before piling yourself and two or three of your friends into a shitty car for a night of too much drinking to this song, easy. Stash a flask in the glove compartment, though, because if you're closer to a bar than three minutes and twenty nine seconds, you're going to want to keep driving until the song is done but then your friends will get pissed off at you for passing the bar and you'll have to pass the flask to get them to shut up while you pretend to look for a decent parking space.
"Mind the Gap", the first of the two b-sides, pisses me off because it sounds like a KRAKOA song and I don't remember checking any Welsh bastard into the hostel. Therefore, I can only assume that Jake is like one of the guys in Scanners and somehow got in my brain and decided to knick "Glass".
All kidding aside, if any song out of these three is going to be the one accused of wearing a Goat-era Jesus Lizard influence on its sleeve, it's this one. I really hate to compare one band to another but A) that slide guitar intro is a bit reminiscent of "Nub" and B) if your band doesn't get compared to the Jesus Lizard at some point in its existence, you're probably doing something wrong. Provided, of course, you don't play something like doom metal or house techno whatever. So, hey, She Ripped is doing something right.
"And We Know" is going to make you forget that the nineties ever ended. Again, that's a good thing. Remember that there was a time before kids wore pants too tight and hair swoops, before faux-neo-folk-collective bullshit, before hipsters were associated with Brooklyn? A time when bands still had bassists, when bands learned to play instruments before they learned to play sampler/loopers, when bands spent more time writing great songs than worrying about their look? She Ripped apparently do. "And We Know" is three chords and white-boy anger: no incomprehensible bark-belching; no dual vocalist, one rapping, one screaming; no deedle-ee-deedle-ee-deedle-ee guitar fills; and, thank fuck, no keyboards. This is what rock used to sound like, kids (I'm not trying to be your dad and tell you about Jethro Tull, no. Think of me more like your uncle and I'm trying to tell you about Black Flag.), just a couple of guys getting together in a room and writing a song that was big, distorted, and full of "fuck the man" swagger. Bands used to swagger. Like Paul Newman. Paul Newman had a swagger that said "fuck the man". You want that swagger? Put down the latest Jack White bullshit thing where Jack White plays music historian for the umpteenth time and listen instead to She Ripped. At least they have a bassist. Paul Newman would have had a bassist.
Also? Paul Newman would've included cover art in the .zip file, Jake.

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