The Successful Failures

Ripe for the Burning

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Having long enjoyed Mick Chorba's other, Replacements-inspired garage group Dipsomaniacs, Ripe for the Burning is the ultimate work he's threatened for a decade. His Dips' thick 'n' creamy, chunky power-pop guitar action remains on the likes of "For No One" (not the Beatles), "Bigger Empty Things," and the devilishly hooky, standout closer "Sun Makes Circles," as does his ear for a payoff tune. But the palette of this newer (greater-Philly) New Jersey four stretches wider, incorporating doses of C&W/alt-country and roots rock and brightening dashes of xylophone, keyboards, and harmonica. The toned-down guitars are given more space to ring and riff, and the quartet is tight, precise and grooving, yet never lacks hunger or soul. In short, Ripe brings back everything great about organic, roaring, kicking, melodic '80s indie rock, from the Libertines U.S. (what with the roots) to Big Dipper, Tim-era Replacements, etc. (and nowadays, Sloan). Factor in the humor of "Niki Zerenberg" (a teenage fanzine dude) and "Never Moving Out" (sorry, mom!), and the deal's sealed. Ripe for the Burning is one heck of a great-fun LP, perfect to sing along to.

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