So when lesser-known Riot Grrrl pioneer Mary Timony worked with Wild Flag I was introduced to her wicked guitar playing and unique voice. When I heard she had started a new group with an album already on the way this year I was ecstatic from the get-go, especially since the new Sleater-Kinney album hadn’t even been announced yet. The album blew me away with its mix of alt and classic rock sounds, mixing The Cars and punk tones together to make an album that will definitely be in my top 5 of the year.
Rips opens on fast and vicious “Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love.” Where Timony’s vocals are both vicious and soft, the guitars are fast and the solo sounds classic. Throw in the catchy chorus and this song is the perfect two minute package. “Beast” is another shredder with great prechoruses, Timony’s vocals sound sound both real and wise, an advantage of singing young sounding punk at the age of 43. Every guitar solo is sounds finessed and with the perfect guitar tone.
“Waste Your Time” opens on a classic sounding guitar fill, its amazing prechoruses sound like they were written by a band on their fifth album, and the jamming bridge is a joy to listen to every time. “You Fell Apart” keeps the shredding going on fast verses but the catchy hook of the song comes on the Ramones-esque “I can’t stand still, so what do I do?” that brings the song to its catchy peak. The chorus finally lets all the energy flush out and gives the whole song a distinctive “Bullet” by Franz Ferdinand vibe.
“How You Got That Girl” sounds exactly like a female cover band of the Cars releasing new material with rock guitar player showing up for a solo in the middle. Basically it’s the better alternate universe version of the Cars, and it’s awesome. “Waterfall” is the Cars + shredding song, while the vocals and choruses have that 70s vibe the guitars definitely fall into 80s sounds and Timony’s lyrics are grimey.
“Hot And Cold” is the distinctly slow pop gem of the album, the verses offer a slow but catchy vocal melody, and end on the deliciously tempting two second distorted guitar lick. After the second cheeky lick, the song goes into a grooving guitar line before giving us some of the distorted licks its been playing keepaway with, before a key change and build into a chorus jam out that blows the pants off of the rest of the album.
“Radio On” is a groovy classic sounding song, bass sounding professional and its once again reminiscent of The Cars and the 70s. Its chorus harkens back to this music especially and the bridge feels almost Rush-esque at times with their own distinctive punk classic rock mix in it. “War Paint” while one of the blander tracks on the album has a great vocal melody and one of the most experimental guitar solos on the album which unfortunately gets buried in the repetitive nature of the song.
“Everywhere” brings the shredding back with killer drums as well, the prechoruses leap down and the guitar fills sound cool as hell. The building final guitar section is headbanging heaven definitely one of those songs you could airjam too. “Outro” closes the album amazingly, on a really sentimental slow-track, with oowaas, emotional vocals and killer lines like “Take care, don’t beware.” The track feels properly final and genuinely emotive, the solo really aches with emotion that you can feel til its last note.