The Riptides – Hang Out

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews

The Riptides

Hang Out - Union 2112 Records, Red Scare Industries

There are certain CDs that take a while to grow on you, others that jump at you right away and some that never really slight that spark within the listener. The Riptides‘ would probably fall in the first category. When I first heard Hang Out I thought little off it. It was okay, but nothing great and I pushed it aside for now. A few weeks later I pulled it out again to give it another spin, and this time it not only grew on me but jumped out at me as well.

The Riptides are a much needed breath of fresh air in an over saturated scene as they rip through the twelve track album with a solid output of punk rock, no gimmicks attached. That’s not saying they’re the most inventive band out there, far from it; instead they play a tried and true formula of punk rock just for the love of it.They combine the pop-punk influences of the likes of The Ramones, The Queers, Chixdiggit!, and Screeching Weasel. It’s pop-punk from the mid-nineties, where the vocals weren’t spotless and annoying. It’s simple melodies that get implanted in your skull instantly thanks to sing-along choruses and the memorable hooks. But most importantly, it’s damn fun punk rock.

The drumming is reminiscent of early No Use For A Name, steady and constant throughout the track keeping a solid backbone that would be the basis of any widespread circle pit. Throw in the fist-pumping sing-along chants and you’re all set for one hell of a time. The vocals are probably the highlight of the album, as they are sturdy and rough without being rusty and overly harsh either; think of a slightly softer Jim Lindberg or Joe Queer (who actually lends his vocal talents to the pop-punk love anthem China Girl).

The most surprising aspect of the album though is how it progresses so well. After a few listens, it’s plainly evident that the second half of the album is where The Riptides really shine. Songs like Change Gonna Come, I Wanna Riot (which would be a perfect live song), The Girl Next Door and Subway Surfin’ 2 are all standouts on the album and show what the band is capable of doing.

Hang Out is a solid punk rock release that steadily grows on you the more you listen to it. Not the most original, but it doesn’t have to be; it’s still a breath of fresh air just because it’s not whiny and self involved. So thumbs up for Hang Out.