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Keep On Keepin' On
Dublin rockers take it to the limit.
Colm O Hare, 12 Apr 2012
Listening to this two-disk sprawl from the popular Dublin four-piece is like travelling through the mists of time – back to somewhere like the Fillmore East in New York around about 1969 with the Allman Brothers Band doing their southern boogie thing up onstage. Not that Keep On Keepin’ On is stuck in the past – on the contrary, The Riptide Movement have been compared favourably to Kings Of Leon and The White Stripes among other latter day practitioners of traditional, blues-based rock. It’s just that their influences barely run beyond that golden age between the late ‘60s and early ‘70s when rock was all about chicks, dope ‘n’ whiskey, Harley Davidsons and kicking out the jams all night long.
Their authenticity and affection for the era is something to behold and hard driving tracks such as ‘Cocaine Cowboys’ and ‘Warming Up The Band’ would fit comfortably on the soundtrack of Easy Rider, while ‘Roll On Train’ comes across like an outtake from the Doors’ LA Woman. That said, ‘Shake Shake’ boasts a more updated sonic signature, the insistent chorus and relentless four to the floor rhythm making it a highlight – and a genuinely original calling card for the band.
When not shaking the rafters with their powerhouse blues, RTM indulge in a softer, part-acoustic approach as on ‘Hard To Explain’ (which recalls early Rory Gallagher) and country blues such as the haunting ‘Bitter Hands’. Meanwhile on the subdued brooding closing cut, ‘God Of War’, samples of speeches from various world leaders including Hitler, Churchill, JFK and Martin Luther King add poignancy and weight to the downbeat message. Disc two kicks of with the ZZ Top-like, ‘I’ll Just Wait’, also featuring alternative versions of ‘Thieves In The Gallery’, ‘Without You’ and the live favourite and 2010 single, ‘Hot Tramp’. A highly impressive debut from one of Ireland’s lesser-sung heroes.