The Black Ramps
The Black Ramps are the wiry cousins of all that American messy-indie from the nineties. Pavement, The Pixies, Violent Femmes… alright – some of those extend further back but you get the idea.
‘Saucer Crash’ is the rockier side of this style and it’s alright. Just alright. ‘Speak and Destroy’ is much better and adheres to the plodding quirkiness of Pavement’s ‘Carrot Rope’, ‘Here’ and ‘Summer Babe’ spewing out crunchy oddities and levering the song between the sounds of a dusty bar and a broken car.
‘Rampenstein’ is a faster version of the same kind of thing. The vocals are close enough to the tune to work and far enough out to capture that out-of-kilter sloppiness that makes the style work. Maybe the guitars are a little too good in this track, the bass isn’t, but the guitars deviously suggest that they’re a part of things while blatantly being far too solid, creative and skilfully in time.
It may sound like I’m a bit give-or-take about this band, but everything I’ve said is intended as a rather large compliment. I really like this record, even the first song, which is a little bit too contrived. Sometimes, the more talented members of the band downplay themselves rather too much as well (you didn’t fool me you little scoundrels, I know you can play!), but if you like this kind of thing, you can only love this record.
Written by Smith on