The Drips
The Drips


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dan Smith USER (74 Reviews)
February 20th, 2007 | 7 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Members of The Bronx, The Distillers, and Los Lobos unite and produce some refreshingly back-to-basics punk rock of the highest standard.

The side-project is a strange beast. On the one hand, it offers musicians the change to try their hand at different styles without the restraints or expectation of their full-time band, or to merely prove that they're not a one-trick pony. On the other hand, it can signal a distaste for their full-time band, and possibly signal the end. One would expect The Drips to fall into one of these categories, as they consist of members of The Bronx (vocalist Matt Caughthran and guitarist Joby J. Ford), The Distillers (guitarist Tony Bevilaqua), and more surprisingly, Los Lobos (bassist Vincent Hidalgo and drummer David Hidalgo Jr.). Well, neither of these examples applies to The Drips, because despite popular belief, they claim that they are not a side-project at all, but merely a group of friends from more well-known bands, jamming out a few tunes for the sheer fun of it.

This approach is fully evident upon giving the album a spin. It has that feeling of being laid back yet not the slightest bit lazy, and effortless yet energetic. Influences are present from the members' other bands, but with a twist. If The Distillers and The Bronx paint pictures of street life, violence and the heavier aspects of culture and life in Los Angeles, then The Drips sees them heading down to the very beach that adorns the album cover, with their friends and a few cases of beer to kick back and enjoy the summer sun. The whole album is relentlessly upbeat, and even the slower, wistful "16, 16, Six" will have you stamping your foot to the laid-back beats, and the chorus melody provides a light at the end of the tunnel.

Aside from the aforementioned "16, 16, Six" the album consists of 10 mid-to-fast tempo punk rock songs; all scuzzy guitars, laced with infectious melodies, and topped-off with the ever-honest, simple yet thoughtful lyrics of Matt Caughthran. It may come as a surprise to those who are accustomed to Matt's vocal work in The Bronx and Bullet Treatment, that his delivery here is gruff yet amazingly melodic, in fact not a world away from that of Chuck Ragan of Hot Water Music fame. Considering their background in the decidedly un-punk-like Los Lobos, the Hidalgo brothers acquit themselves well and provide a solid backbone for the songs. Despite the general lack of musical variation, no song ever fades into the next or goes by unnoticed; the quality of the songwriting is such that every riff, every drumbeat, and every line is catchy enough to keep the listener's attention throughout, and at a few minutes shy of half an hour in length, the album doesn't outstay its welcome. The unpolished yet solid production values only serve to endear the record to you even more.

It's hard to recommend particular tracks, due to the similarity in style, but for the sake of those wanting a few pointers to start with, my favourites are "Broken," "I'm Gone," "16, 16, Six," and "M.I.L.K." but to be honest, there's not a bad song to be found on here. After a few listens, you'll find yourself realising that this could well be one of the best punk rock albums of 2006, refreshingly free of any cliches or trends, and packed to the gills with honesty, energy, and catchy melodies. "Surely not?!" you'll think, "This can't be THAT good, it's just a bunch of friends mucking about, playing songs in their spare time..."

...But isn't that what music is all about? If The Drips have anything to do with it, that'll be a resounding "YES!"

4/5



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
spoon_of_grimbo
February 21st 2007


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is one of the shorter reviews i've done, is this a good or a bad thing?

24.05.2008 - In a recent re-evaluation of my reviews, I've changed the rating for this album from a 4.5 to a 4This Message Edited On 05.23.08

dyeva
February 21st 2007


59 Comments


I would say that you should lay off the band linking. It makes the paragraphs seem cluttered.

spoon_of_grimbo
February 21st 2007


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fair point. i was looking for feedback on the content rather than the layout, but thanks anyway.

dyeva
February 21st 2007


59 Comments


It's a solid review. Nothing really wrong with it.

Shorter reviews are generally better.

descendents1
February 21st 2007


702 Comments


shorter reviews are generally more enticing

this one is good

spoon_of_grimbo
February 21st 2007


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks guys, in that case, i'm gonna try and do some more like this then.

any opinions on the album, or am i the only one here who's heard it lol?

spoon_of_grimbo
October 12th 2007


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

someone else must have heard this?!?!?!



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