Saturday, August 23, 2014

Revenge of the Quick Ripple Bursts - Featuring Mexico City Blondes, Catatonic Society and the Casket Crew

A quick look at what's been spinning in the Ripple office of late.

Mexico City Blondes - S/T

To my knowledge, only the single "Fade" has been released to the public, but guitarist/songwriter Greg Doscher was kind enough to send me the whole album and let me tell you . . . if you like the laid-back downtempo vibe of "Fade" you're gonna love what's still to come.

Mexico City Blondes is the work of Santa Barbara musicians Allie Thompson and Greg Doscher.  Last time we heard from Greg he was part of the indy-rockers Tripdavon who blew Ripple away several years back.  With that band on hiatus, he's teamed up with angelic, smoky voice Allie to release these stunning compositions of downtempo chill.  Combining Allie's soaring yet languid vocals over perfect beats and instrumentation, MCB have crafted an infinitely listenable downtempo delight.  There was a time when I was really deep into the downtemp world of bands like Kruder and Dorfmeister or Si*Se.  MCB would sit beautifully upon the same shelf as those accomplished artists.  Simplicity and beauty hallmark each song, and when Greg digs into his guitar like on the inspired solo during "Watery Dreams" it's simply a treat.   Allie is a comfortable vocalist with an unmistakable timeless quality to her singing.

If you're waiting for your next favorite downtempo album of the year, it's coming soon.  Meanwhile, check out facebook for updates.

Catatonic Society - Demo-nology

 Rude, raw, and crass.  And damn fucking good.

Ok, enough with the downtempo, let's rev things up, and to do just that we'll start with this blast of old-school thrash/NWOBHM/Hardcore madness from SF Bay Area's own Catatonic Society.  Playing gigs with Ripple favorites Blackwulf, it's damn encouraging to see the East Bay heavy rock scene growing and gaining some serious traction. 

Only four songs here, but there's absolutely no let-up from start to finish in the intensity, power and primal energy of these cats' metal.  Riffs fly like birdshot blasting from a shotgun in hunting season.  Drums explode.  Bass pounds.  And on top of it all are some seriously cool, histrionic vocals that always seem on edge of tipping over into insanity.  

Fans of early thrash and the heavier NWOBHM should take note.  This is just their demo EP, but a full -length is coming soon.  Definitely worth watching.   Free download of EP below.

The Casket Crew - Coercion

While we're on the topic of exploding eardrums.  From Denver, these death and rollers, The Casket Crew have unleashed a monster of metalic mayhem with their CD, Coercion.  Vocals that recently decended to the depths of Hades empire combine with metalic riffing and good-ol rock roots to create one ungodly bastard of terrorizing rock n roll.

One thing I really love is the lack of overusing the blast beats and double kick drum.  Instead, the band riffs with manic intensity but actually creates a groove and let's the song breathe.  Damn, I wish more metal bands would learn to do that.  They're also not afraid to mix things up a bit.   "Bones" kicks off with some very nice neo-prog sequences before the metal bludgeons all within earshot.  Even then, the riffs stay mighty and the groove stays heavy. 

This is my kind of metal.  Heavy as fuck, but still has the soul of rock.   Jump in. 


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