The second full-length from Rye Coalition not only continues in the aggressively discordant style of their debut, but builds to an even higher plateau with new sounds directions and ideas. The opening pound of "The Prosthetic Aesthetic" is brutal but enveloping, and the chaotic sounds continue for the rest of the recording. With their second record the band finally seems comfortable and competent in the studio, and the resulting sounds are all over the map of charming musical atonality. The Shellac and even Fugazi influences still shine through, but the band is starting to sound more like a peer than an emulator on this LP; the songs are much more varied, and while the overall similarities of their powerful sound continue from track to track, each piece stands on its own. The Lipstick Game is a huge sounding rock record, and, on cuts like the title track, the group shows an outstanding grip on the science of writing loud rock tunes. There are changes, stops, and breakdowns all over the record, and these moments show Rye Coalition to be true innovators capable of doing whatever they want and somehow always pulling it off. Even the acoustic-tinged "Tangiers" and the instrumental closer "Through the Years" succeed, the second as a gorgeous soaring finale that avoids the band's usual in-your-face approach, and manages to prove their ability to write a subtle and still effective piece. Rye Coalition are still a raw rock force, and The Lipstick Game is their best release yet -- it would be a shame for anyone interested in cutting edge (or just plain cutting) rock to miss out on it.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Peter J. D'Angelo