Before they hit the studio to record their first album, Rips spent years playing shows and honing their N.Y.C. of the '70s (Television, Feelies) filtered through the N.Y.C. of the '90s (Sonic Youth) sound into something that's laser-focused and diamond-sharp. Working with Parquet Courts' producer Austin Brown -- someone who also knows a thing or two about that particular sonic equation -- the Brooklyn quartet deliver a batch of tight and tough songs that have a heavy duty dual guitar attack, insistent hooks, and all the energy one would expect from a band that plays more shows a year than most doctors would recommend. Songs come bursting out of the speakers in a slashing fury ("Break," "Damaged") swagger and strut noisily ("Malibu Entropy"), jangle a little introspectively in true Ranaldo fashion ("Vs"), or even occasionally dial back the attack in favor of something a little more relaxed ("Psychics"). It's a varied selection of songs, all played and sung with assured energy and determination by a group of guys who have clearly done their homework and given some very familiar sounds their own distinctive spin for the most part. Even on the rare occasion when the influences are a little too easy to spot, the band's exuberance and drive paves over any reservations one might have. It's always good to have bands who play with purpose, have unquenchable energy, have worked really hard on fitting every interlocking guitar line together just right, and seem to exist because they love making a glorious racket, not because it's a good career move to play a certain way. Rips put in their time to learn their craft, and this album is the joyous and thrilling release of all that knowledge and skill.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra