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Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Ripped- Blow Your Mind

 


Artist: Ripped
CD Title: Blow Your Mind
Label: Sextant Records
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 8/12/05

Ontario's Ripped have made a name for themselves in their home country, having worked with several notable producers and gained media attention with their 2002 debut. On Blow Your Mind, the band's sophomore effort, they bring an electronic-infused, poppy alt rock formula that recalls, to some extent, bands like Garbage, No Doubt, and, perhaps, Elastica. There are also notable shades of Veruca Salt and Lush in the band's stylistic approach, melodies, and, in particular, vocalist Sandra Olender's timbre, inflections, and layered vocal work. While a bit short at just a few minutes over half an hour, the well produced album is certainly spectacular, a consistently solid effort full of infectious hooks and energy.

Unlike most bands, Ripped are, refreshingly, not intent on playing the "we covered a popular 80s hit" card, their slightly darker and, admittedly, remarkably well-done take on Blondie's "Call Me" fitting in nicely but acting more as an album track than a central highlight. Things kick off nicely with the dynamic, energetic rocker, "Anodyne", followed by one of the disc's biggest standouts, the radio-friendly, somewhat Garbage-esque single "Show Me", its killer guitar hooks and punchy stilted rhythms notably mixed by Dave "Rave" Ogilvie.

"Daily Ritual" is an excellent 2-and-a-half-minute burst of up-tempo energy, while the nice mellow rock ballad "Eternal" could almost pass for a long lost outtake from Lush's Lovelife album. "Waiting for the Night", conversely, is an almost bubbly affair, balancing lighter verses with a downright bouncy chorus complete with "awoo"s. The darker and exceptionally melodic "Afterglow", the second 2-and-a-half-minute outing here, features one of the disc's best chorus hooks before the bass-driven "Second Chance" chimes in, a plodding, pop-oriented alt rocker. The upbeat alternapop of "Not Dead Yet" and the slower, low-key melodic rock of "Breathe" nicely finish the set.

When an album's biggest flaw is that it leaves you wanting more, it's usually safe to say it's reasonably impressive. Such is the case here, the disc's length made up for with an excellent filler-free 10-song set. Likely to have both mainstream and underground appeal and containing a number of infectious radio-friendly standouts, Ripped's Blow Your Mind is a great album that will probably garner quite a bit of attention.

 

Ripped website: www.rippedmusic.com

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