Many musicians can tell you it takes a lot of work and a lot of time to put together an album. Being critical of your sound and always seeking the elusive perfection is a curse with artistic types. Our recent discovery The Ripping Rivers put an extreme amount of time and work into their latest record. Luckily it paid off.
The band hails from Coventry, England. The Ripping Rivers are made up of Jake Hackett (composer, arranger, producer & multi-instrumentalist) and Jamie Sheerman (singer & lyricist). Together they produce a sound that brings together the best of Alternative rock, funk, and experimental music.
In their effort to put out the best and biggest sounding album that they could, The Ripping Rivers spent almost 5 years preparing their debut Ripped Gratification. They say it was one of the toughest musical projects either of them have ever undertaken. Some examples of the time spent include: Recording the instruments took 18 months. Recording the lead vocals took around a month. Finding the perfect female backing vocalists took over 6 months. Recording those backing vocals took over 80 hours as they had around 150 individual parts to record.
Mixing the album took around a year (there are 5 different mixes of the album in existence). Then add in designing an album cover and finding a distribution deal which took an additional 6 months.
The result being Ripped Gratification, a long playing and professional sounding 13 track album that covers many different styles and genres. Right from the slow build open of “You Know What You’ve Done” you know you are in for something big and bold. “Twenty Four Hours” starts off with a new wave inspired keyboard line before churning into something that shares influence from Red Hot Chili Peppers and U2.
The Ripping Rivers know how to write super catchy songs.
The rise and fall of the energy on “Let Me In” keeps the attention of the listener throughout the 5-minute track. There is a lot going on at once here which gives something different to focus your ears on from minute to minute. The funky tone continues on “The Life Of The Lonely Man.” Jamie’s vocals take us on a journey as the drum beat pounds away pumping energy into the song.
The epic anthem of the album has to be the 14-minute long “Fireworks” with its experimental sonic buildup and slowed down emotional delivery. We are taken through a journey feeling everything that The Ripping Rivers are willing to share with us.
This is an album to set aside some time for and give it your attention for the full 90 minutes it deserves.