The Ripps - Long Live The Ripps
Having passed me by upon its release in March, I can recommend this debut from Coventry trio The Ripps as worthy of a spin. Although it's happy to nick from old-timers like The Specials as well as relatively recent bands like The Libertines, Long Live The Ripps passes with merit because it is not thin on exuberant short blasts of poppy punk.
Loco and Vandals open with a joyful confidence, the former a silly but sweet swooner of a love song and the latter a disaffected but danceable track, lyrical concerns about 'a generation of boozers and wasters' being delivered by frontman Patch's likeable swagger. From the fraught guitars and urban paranoia of Vampires' skank to the smile-raising pathos of obligatory breakup song You Don't Even Care, the band have enough tunes to back up their attitude. The highlight is perhaps the simple singalong joys provided by Holiday, a tale of a seaside getaway spent mostly in a Wetherspoons, displaying a witty lyrical flair that is evident elsewhere on the record; if you happen to care, my favourite instance of this is Benefit's humdinger, 'I'm not a homophobe/Cuz my mate's a gay!'.
Unfortunately, there are a few tracks where the rain seems to have seeped between the cracks. The shouty racket of Hypocrites is a bit too Up the Bracket for me, while Bad Influence and other tracks towards the album's end suffer from repetition. When they're on form, though, The Ripps are nothing less than great fun. Nope, it's not 'proper' punk but it doesn't claim to be, and at least they're no Towers of London. I'm actually surprised this lot aren't a lot bigger than they are, as fans of The View might enjoy their brash pop noise.