21 Apr 2024
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Ripship - Album Review: Fearsome Engine

06 Jan 2023 // A review by Nicholas Clark
This couldn’t be a Ripship review without at least mentioning the immense noise the two-piece band produces. There – I’ve said it; they sure can conjure up some dBs. Now, let's dive into their complex new album Fearsome Engine.


These days, thanks to technology, bands have the ability to double or triple track their instruments or voices, harmonizing and delaying their live performances to be set against samples that play alongside the generated racket or are triggered. Now more than ever before, musicians have the opportunity to build up immense clouds of distortion and effects while barely holding control of the inevitable feedback to predictable sounding results...

You might be forgiven for thinking Ripship might be one of these bands that surround their stage space with pedals, bells and whistles to create a kaleidoscopic range of strange and startling noises to be lost in. Even the bands inspirations which are listed as sci-fi topics, futuristic concerns and dystopic worlds might lead you astray. This band ain’t about that. They possess control. They are tight, dare I say it, neat. I would say effective and competent, but that might sound a little boring. If you saw their live setup, you’d hope they were. Like pilots on a space vessel, I remember looking at their stage equipment and hoping they knew how to fly. I needn’t have worried.

What amazes me both seeing them live and hearing them on record is the huge scope of sounds they will from their instruments and voices, but more impressively, the range of genres they can blend within one song. Heavy metal is present, but the type listeners of Royal Blood (another two piece) would approve of. This is no White Stripes knock off. Although the songs are lean, there is more than a nod to progressive psychedelic rock. Jazz basslines burble through, as do some impressive and tasteful jazz drumbeats. Middle eastern scales make an appearance on The Spyre, while Ripship is Online sounds like the bass line might have been borrowed by Devo. Moore's Law is a breezy jazz number meets hypnotic Japanese muzak.

Fu Manchu, Kyuss, even NZ’s own The Mint Chicks may well have inspired the band; just as much as Sleep, Muse, The Mars Volta and maybe even Rush...

It makes for an interesting and unexpected listen. Although the sounds are no doubt all produced by well recorded acoustic drums, electric guitar and synths, there is a definite type of production that leaves the album crackling, snappy and almost with a pop finish. Two voices, (with unmistakable and unapologetic kiwi accents), narrate the listener during the rocket ride, and although the male’s voice is often vocoded, lyrics are clear and definite. The interaction between the singers is sensational, as demonstrated most skilfully on Moore’s Law.

Fearsome Engine begins with The Great Filter, a simple song that builds with a robotic voice, which would no doubt work well in a live setting as a brilliant opener. Filtered sounds buzz around the punchy riff, adding menace and a rising tension. It’s perhaps not their most technically interesting song, but it's enough to fine-tune your listening settings. The album’s title track follows, introducing their signature sound with a few tricky rhythms and a crushing chorus that could have played at least once more. Third track Cloud Seeder is total stoner rock.

Katamari Damashi means literally ‘lump soul’ in Japanese, but refers most likely to the strange third-person puzzle game allowing players to recreate the whole universe through rolling a magical, highly adhesive ball called a katamari into other objects. It's the kind of game the band probably loves, and fans would too. Oh yeah, that song rocks too.

Ripship is Callum Lincoln (guitar and vocals) and Eva-Rae McLean (drums and vocals). They've been playing live for at least two years now, and their accolades are impressive and growing. A band that really has to be appreciated live. Fearsome Engine was produced by Peter Ruddell (Sulfate, Wax Chattels) who added the shine to the chrome on this one.

There’s probably a large section of listeners outside of the usual rock fandom who would dig this new album, perhaps more than the traditional four-piece stoner rock outfit might gather. By avoiding clichés but celebrating the best parts from the huge range of genres they mention on this album, Ripship have created a clean, heavy, multi-faceted beast that is beautiful rather than brutal; but it all makes for a more enjoyable listen. This is thinking peoples’ psych-rock.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

Releases

Fearsome Engine
Year: 2022
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Nicholas Clark

Guilt Grip - Album Review: Guilt Grip
12 Apr 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
Tamaki Makaurau Auckland four-piece Guilt Grip present here, available in the unconventional medium of cassette tape, their first full length self-titled album. It’s an abrasive listen that suits the surreal collaged artwork by Lia Boscu, and one that proudly and loudly celebrates the band’s passions and values.
Read More...
EP Review: Lava
29 Feb 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
@page size: 21cm 29.7cm; margin: 2cm p { line-height: 115%; margin-bottom: 0.
Read More...
Tower Of Flints - Album Review: Live at Paisley Stage
12 Feb 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
The true proof that any band is worthy of praise is the live act. Recalling my own introduction to certain musicians, the quality of a live album would often be the deciding factor of whether I would continue to follow a band.
Read More...
Mister Unit - EP Review: There's Always Someone With A Bigger Schtick
30 Jan 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
Mister Unit’s third offering, after one EP and an album, is a six strong EP filled with inventive riffs, clever lyrics and catchy melodies. Oh yes, and lots of great guitar solos.
Read More...
Gig Review: Mister Unit @ Valhalla, Wellington - 18/01/2024
21 Jan 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
An emotional night for many, Valhalla hosted Mister Unit's album release party on Thursday with a three-band line-up. Emotional because the conclusion of work on a recording always is, whether or not it is a celebration, especially so on the dense, powerful and ultimately nostalgic six track album by the headlining band; but more than usual perhaps, because one member who featured on the album was no longer with us.
Read More...
Gig Review: Dave and the Dirty Humans @ Fringe Bar, Wellington - 13/01/2024
15 Jan 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
Dave and The Dirty Humans are not a band that fades in memory next to the many other current Wellington bands the capital scene appears to be teeming with. Not only is the name a mouthful, but their live shows are memorable, and their songs seem familiar by drawing heavily from the near past (read, the 90’s and 2000’s).
Read More...
Lung - Album Review: Lung Cancer
07 Jan 2024 // by Nicholas Clark
The legendary 90’s grunge band Lung recently returned to playing live gigs after a hiatus from 1994 until the 2010’s. In 2022 they released Bad Acid Soundtracks II which offered newer versions from their earlier records (like 3 Heads on a Plate and Cactii) but featured the impressive drumming from frontman Dave White’s son, Zak.
Read More...
Gig Review: Dave and the Dirty Humans @ The Welsh Dragon, Wellington - 27/10/2023
31 Oct 2023 // by Nicholas Clark
If you’ve attended even a handful of live music events in the capital these past two years, chances are you’ve seen or heard of the alternative heavy rock band, Dave and the Dirty Humans. They’re the kind of band you might rave about the next morning, groggily and inaccurately trying to describe their style as both heavy and funky, metallic but not really metal, direct and brutal at times but complex and harmonious the next second.
Read More...
View All Articles By Nicholas Clark

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • TOO SWEET
    Hozier
  • BEAUTIFUL THINGS
    Benson Boone
  • LOSE CONTROL
    Teddy Swims
  • I LIKE THE WAY YOU KISS ME
    Artemas
  • SATURN
    SZA
  • STICK SEASON
    Noah Kahan
  • END OF BEGINNING
    Djo
  • LIKE THAT
    Future And Metro Boomin feat. Kendrick Lamar
  • ESPRESSO
    Sabrina Carpenter
  • WE CAN'T BE FRIENDS (WAIT FOR YOUR LOVE)
    Ariana Grande
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem