The Rip Off Artists “The Intercontinental”
Nick Pipitone and Peter Batchelder (The Rip Off Artists) are the same band that brought you Esque a few years ago. The Intercontinental tells the tales of a variety of characters from creative fields all failing: An Artist, an Actor, Tennis Instructor, Photographer, etc. We start with “Commuter’s Blues,” a very Ben Folds meets Adam Marsland styled narrative, about the long morning commute – some nice details in the bass and drum work make it a standout. Likewise, “In The Actor’s Studio Apartment” has a driving chorus and catchy melody along with the chance of “one night only” and striking out with the girl.
Another highlight, “Mr. Right and Mrs. Right” tells of the perfect couple who never got along, and the foreboding “Inspector Valentino” is very much like Elvis Costello’s slower compositions. The bouncy “Bachelor of Arts” is one of my favorites here, with its “ba-ba” backup chorus. Nick and Peter do a great job on these songs and it’s highly recommended.
Bandcamp | Amazon
Mothboxer “Sand and The Rain”
Mothboxer really made a great impression on the 2012 LP Three, and the band continues to create great power pop with its new album. The band is Dave Ody with help from Robbie Burley, Phil Davies and Jon Hawes. “One and Only” is a catchy ear-worm that reminds me of Julian Lennon mixed with XTC. “Looking Out For Summer” is another richly layered melody that effortlessly floats along.
The album is mostly light and breezy, a real treat and its got a sense of humor too with “Stop,” which adds heavier guitar lines, it slowly builds to the frantic, fast paced puchline. It’s got an echoing pastoral sweetness on the title track that fans of The Brigadier or Martin Newell will enjoy. In an era that favors stripped-down, no-fi production, the rich bass oriented sound is surprisingly refreshing to hear. Although the last track “All That I Want” could put you to sleep, this is full of great music and gets a nomination to my best LP of the year list.
Amazon | Kool Kat Musik (with bonus disc)