You know, deep down, this is what it’s all about. The Riptones are, according to their press material, guys who, like most of us approaching middle age, still just love to get up and play music. And if this record is any indication of the shows they put on, a good time is guaranteed for all.
The music is a really nifty mix of surf, country, and early rock. There are two guitarists, Jeb Bonansinga and Michael Krasovech, and I’m not sure who plays lead on what, but there’s some fabulous playing. “Go Be Do” is a country-rocker with killer bends, banjo rolls (on which somebody here is quite adept throughout the album), and some deep, deep twangin’. All of the cuts have real nice chordal work mixed with the single lines. It also helps that the songs themselves are all interesting compositionally. Not sure if it means he plays most of the solos, but Bonansinga wrote the lion’s share of material. “Maid Rites” is a fun R&B-meets-the-surfer tune that has intertwined guitars that mesh perfectly. And, it’s topped off by a rowdy solo that blows the roof off the building.
That’s kind of how the whole record goes. It’s fun, interesting, and features some excellent guitar work. In the liner notes, Bonansinga thanks two bands whose influence shows up here – the Ventures and Booker T. and the MGs. I can’t think of a better way to wrap up how this band sounds.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Sep. ’03 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.