RIPS’ self-titled debut packs the kind of fervent rock energy that used to define New York City’s music scene. It’s impossible not to see the influence of bands such as Television, The Velvet Underground, and The Feelies on RIPS’ sound, which puts them in a similar NYC rock revivalist territory to Parquet Courts (it is no surprise to see that Austin Brown of Parquet Courts produced RIPS’ self-titled debut on Faux Discx). Yet, while the band wears their influences like signs for CBGB around their necks, their playlist below highlights a diversity of influences that lies well beyond those easy comparisons to early 70s and 80s NYC rock mainstays.
Listen to some of the band’s favorite tracks below and come see them play Baby’s All Right on July 1 for their record release show.
1. Howling Hex, “Apache Energy Plan”
Gary Canino (bass): Royal Trux is starting to have such a sweeping influence on rock music today, and it’s about damn time. Neil Hagerty’s solo stuff is amazing too, both under his name and the Howling Hex. We got to open for him a year or two back and we’re actually playing with him again on his home turf in Denver on our upcoming tour – “First Hex gig in years!” he told me. Last time around, he was shredding on a six string bass, a true inspiration.
2. Pharoah Sanders, “Love Will Find A Way”
Canino: Sometimes I hear some kind of bone-shaking, earth-shattering spiritual jazz song like this, and I wonder how I’ll ever even get close to this by playing bass in a rock band. Still gotta try though! I’ve seen Pharoah Sanders three times in NYC and I’d go see him again in a heartbeat.
3. Warthog, “Culture?”
Canino: Whenever I get down about music in NYC I always remind myself of the insanely good punk scene that we’re not in any shape or form involved with, except maybe socially. We actually played 538 once and people were kinda confused. Anyway, the breakdown/ending of “Culture?” by Warthog is completely insane and great. Ryan from Warthog actually played on some of the songs on our album.
4. Bumblebee Unlimited, “Ladybug”
Canino: Without fail, if I’m out late and this song comes on, I know it’s gonna be a good night.
5. Gary Numan, “Films”
Henry Northington (Drums): The drum work on all of The Pleasure Principle has been an incalculable influence on me, but the backbone of “Films” is easily one of my favorite beats of all time. It’s jerky and driving and persistent all at the same time, and it binds together and otherwise yawning sort of composition.
6. Robert Palmer, “Johnny and Mary”
Northington: This is a great song by a guy who I do not consider to be a purveyor of great songs. There’s a sort of muted urgency and soft spoken vulnerability here that’s completely absent on any of Palmer’s other cheap suit, cheez-wiz hits. Plus this is one of the most persistent earworm tracks I’ve ever encountered.
7. Roy Orbison, “I Drove All Night”
Northington: Late Roy is a curious beast, but even with all the pandering to the times and safe pseudo exploration of his twilight era, he’s still inescapably himself. The galloping rhythm of “I Drove All Night” is decidedly against type for him, but he wrangles it expertly, layering that unreal voice of his over the hectic bedrock of the rhythm section. It’s one of those goosebumps-guaranteed songs for me.
8. Judas Priest,”Diamonds and Rust”
Northington: Just in case you’ve never heard Priest do a disco-inflected cover of a Joan Baez song, here you go.
9. Eddy Current Suppression Ring, “Which Way To Go”
Bono Melendrez (Guitar): Love this song. It always reminds me of summertime. It’s a really fun, upbeat song but still tough at the same time. This whole record is also awesome! Really good band.
10. Velvet Underground, “Over You (Version 1)”
Melendrez: We were in Philly a couple months ago and this kid at a show we played was playing this. I had never heard this recording till then, but I’ve probably listened to it a hundred times since. It’s off The Complete Matrix Tapes live album.
11. Central Line, “Walking Into Sunshine”
Melendrez: A DJ played this song once after a show we played a while ago and Dan and I were loving it. Great dance song and every part is really awesome. Really cool sounds. It’s also a pretty long song so all the parts just keep coming back around.
12. Wipers, “Is This Real”
Melendrez: Obviously a great song by a great band. I love this song because its chord progression is so cool. Starts out like a power-pop song but then gets pretty dark for some brief moments. The song has a great feel and energy but is still sort of unsettling which I like. Great vocal performance as well.
13. The Beach Boys, “All I Wanna Do”
Daniel Abary (Guitar & Vocals): This song is wild. Not only is it a smooth and grooving love song, it’s an incredible synthed out Beach Boys track. It’s so lush, layered, and vibrant. The song actually sounds quite contemporary for the time it was recorded. Sunflower, the album this track is on, is my favorite Beach Boys record. If you’re a fan and haven’t listened, definitely check out this record.
14. Gang of Four, “Is It Love?”
Abary: In 1983, Gang of Four moved into a pop/new-wave direction with the record Hard. I like visiting older bands’ discographies to discover points where they were trying out different things in their music. This track “Is It Love?” is a badass dance hit.
15. WIRE, “Map Ref. 41°N 93°W”
Abary: A psychedelic pop-leaning song off Wire’s 154. Everything from the warbly guitar effects to the lyrics and the rigid, choppy rhythm looping throughout the song make this a strange rock n roll song, but it still locks you into a tight groove.
16. Cinderella (Philippines), “Ikaw Ang Idol Ko”
Abary: My love for this song might be rooted mainly in nostalgia. When I was young, my parents would play compilations of Filipino pop tunes on Sunday mornings at home. The song has a really pleasant arrangement with a cool organ tone floating in and out of the track. It has a nice summer feeling to it. Everything about the song is just a great classic pop vibe.
17. Los Lonely Boys, “Heaven”
RIPS: This is a song with some great guitar lines. Gary’s mom says it’s a great summertime tune and it really is. We actually cover this song from time to time.