|Cover artwork by Adam Burke.|
Take the Steppenwolf classic "Born to Be Wild", dip it in Motörhead, drape it in Saint Vitus and cast it in the reaper's image and you begin to understand the level of badassery that R.I.P. is wielding.
I used to watch the show Sons of Anarchy; the first couple seasons were great. But the thing that always struck me as odd about the beloved biker drama was the largely acoustic folk soundtrack. I can understand the exciting juxtaposition of hauling ass down the highway with a soft or slow song playing to provide a kind of mental drag to make you feel like you're going even faster than you actually are, but come on.
When I'm watching the show I'm not on a hog and I'm not feeling the wind. The show could have used some sonic thrust to convey that cruisin' with attitude and authority thing the directors seemed to be going for. At the very least pick a better theme song, "2 Wheel Nation" by Acid King would have been a nice start. "Ridin' through this world ..." has been the butt of too many of my jokes over the years to take the music of S.O.A. seriously.
Which is the long way around to say that THIS, 'In the Wind', the debut album from self-styled West Coast Street Doom outfit R.I.P. is what the show's been missing.
There are only a handful of true bikersploitation hard rock bands in the pleasantly crowded underground heavy scene and R.I.P. may be the best of them. The concept is fairly straight-forward: take the tone of classic doom and rocket propel it with stomping drums, throbbing bass, broken beer bottles and police sirens until the hand gripping the accelerator moves forward, slowly but surely and the pavement tears.
Nowhere is this ethic more apparent than on the chugging "Smoke & Lightning" and the galloping "In the Wind Part 2", although picking standouts here is futile. And don't bother comparing this trio to Black Label Society. That's like comparing the real life Angels to Samcro.
In my limited personal biker experience, the older bikers that I know still listen to classic rock and the younger ones listen to rap of whatever's on the radio. This is unacceptable. But you and I can help. Inform your local bikers that R.I.P. exists, commandeer the stereo and dam the amplifiers with West Coast Street Doom! No doubt there will be groans of protest and maybe a hurled bottle or two, but once the wind gets moving through the speakers a calming sense of rightness will settle over the affair. Three songs into 'In the Wind' and you may have just re-established a sense of order in this mad, mad, mad world.
When TV bikers cruise to a folk rock backdrop and their real-world counterparts do their thing to a rap soundtrack, there's just a littler something off with the world. R.I,P. and you and I are here to set things aright, alright?
'In the Wind' will be released on March 18 by Totem Cat Records.
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