STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 24120-12647 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Nigel Harris
Hailing from Newport, Oregon, Ripe deliver exactly what an independently recorded and produced debut album should be: quality music, creative packaging, crisp production and songs you'll want to listen to again and again. If I was teaching would-be musicians I would use this project to prove that a small budget debut album can sound every bit as good as the latest Sony chart-topper. Ripe comprise the power trio of Spud on guitar, Blotus on bass and vocals and Mike G on drums (otherwise known as Chris Johnston and Mike and Aaron Gibson). Blotus also wrote all but one track on the album. Their approach is hard to categorise, I would go for something like "reggae-inflected indie rock", but you should make up your own mind and listen to a few tracks on http://www.myspace.com/moreyom (yes, confusingly Ripe have recently changed their name to More Yom, the same as the album name). The opening tracks feature Spud's scorching melodic guitar lines against a clearly reggae-influenced vibe and Blotus's half sung/half rapped vocals which cram enough lyrics for a whole album into each track, and yet remain totally audible even at the breakneck pace at which he delivers them. The standout track for me is "Demon Donkey" which cleverly twists the refrain "it's personal" from the retort that "my faith is buried within, it's personal" to denounce the demons who are out to get "your wife and your life and your kids and their souls, and it's personal." The lyrics are consistently creative, thought-provoking - and just plain different, a refreshing change from the stream of clichés that mark many CCM songs. The band members have recently finished high school or jobs to devote the whole of their time to More Yom so let's hope they can start touring beyond their home state. These guys really have fresh talent.
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