San Francisco Art Punks Rip Room Release “Dead When It Started” Video
Directed by visual artist Helen Young
New Album ‘Alight and Resound’ Out Now
Recorded with Engineer Tim Green (Melvins, Bikini Kill, Sebadoh)
FFO: Gang of Four, DEVO, Unwound, Fugazi
“If the Revolution needs a dance party, Rip Room wrote the soundtrack.”- Tuned Up
“Alight and Resound is an album that rips on an intellectual and emotional level. Noise rock, post-punk, hardcore, and punk rock are all blended together to create something greater than the sum of those solid parts.”- New Noise
“What If Devo Jammed w/ Fugazi? San Francisco Trio Answers on “Complication.” Could have easily been featured on a classic Dischord Records or Kill Rock Stars comp back in the day.”- No Echo
“San Francisco’s Rip Room make post-hardcore music with an air of art pop exuberance.”- Post-Trash
“San Francisco band Rip Room sound like if you put Devo and Fugazi in a blender. That’s a serious compliment. Any and all bands taking the more cerebral art punk route are cause for celebration.”- Riff Magazine
San Francisco art-punk trio Rip Room has adropped a new video for “Dead When It Started” off their recently released debut LP ‘Alight and Resound.
‘Watch the video on New Noise: https://newnoisemagazine.com/premieres/video-premiere-rip-room-dead-when-it-started/
The video was directed by Helen Young, a practicing visual artist currently residing in Calgary, AB. Young works primarily in painting, printmaking, clay and animation, bringing to life obscured characters and bold imagery. Helen also works as the Music & Performance Director at CJSW Radio. @helenbentforleather
Stream the album here: https://orcd.co/riproom
Order vinyl here: https://spr.tn/riproom
John Reed – Vocals/Guitar
Sarah McKinney – Bass/Vocals
Gracie Malley – Drums
In a time of digital polish and studio patchwork, it has become increasingly rare to hear a record that captures the lightning-in-a-bottle dynamics of a live performance. Music continues to fill our queues, but it feels less and less human, so when a record breaks through the static, it can be a revelation. Introducing the wound-up art punks in San Francisco’s Rip Room.
After successfully self-releasing and touring on two EPs, the three-piece returned to Louder Studios in Grass Valley, CA to reunite with storied engineer Tim Green (Nation of Ulysses, Melvins, Bikini Kill, Sebadoh). The result is the charismatic and alluringly unpredictable debut full-length record, ‘Alight and Resound’, twelve pulsing songs that harken back to better musical times while somehow embracing the relevance of the moment. Think Unwound, Sleater-Kinney, and Fugazi. Propulsive rhythms and piercing lyrics, but with a sense of buoyancy. Brashness over banality. Wolves in sheep’s clothing.
“I wanted to be in a fun, high-energy band, but with a math-y, prog edge,” says Reed. “We’re always looking to capture our live sound, and with this record, we wanted that plus a little more to emphasize some ideas or sonic feelings,” adds bassist/vocalist Sarah McKinney. “The subject matter is pretty heavy, but the execution is sometimes a bit more lighthearted and dance-y which I think balances it out well. Our sound was once described as ‘dance music for people who don’t like to dance,’ which I don’t agree with — I’d say it’s ‘dance music for people who like to dance but are also bummed out’.”
Thematically, while instrumentally effervescent, ‘Alight and Resound’ delves into some more turbulent lyrical waters. Loneliness, chaos, despair, and struggle — yet somehow with a glimmer of hope. “The title of the record is a lyric from the song ‘Get On In The World,’ which is in part about frustration and not really fitting in,” says Reed. “Everyone’s focused or too wrapped up in their own shit and sadly this too often devolves into misunderstandings, at best, and violence, at worst. Alight and Resound is like a plea — move to a different plane of understanding and empathy or else we’re fucked.”
Thriving in the Bay Area is no simple task for a band in these times. As competition grows, venues close, and rents continue to rise, the desire for authenticity in art will only increase. Alight and Resound is a testament to the power of seeking brashness over banality. There is perceptible life and light in the recordings that grow with each listen, and the authenticity of the experience is both palpable and revitalizing.
“Razor-sharp blend of noise rock, punk, and art rock with plenty of intensity and grit.”- Destroy/Exist
“With the fervor of Unwound, Hüsker Dü, Sleater-Kinney, and Fugazi, Rip Room spews out propulsive rhythms and piercing lyrics wrapped in a buoyant glee.”- Post-Punk
“Art punk that just straight up rocks. “Complication,” is an amalgam of a bunch of your favorite classic punk sounds and bands. There’s the post punk of Gang of Four, the buzzing guitars of Dead Kennedys, the bouncy New Wave goes almost pop of Talking Heads and B-52s, and even some of the noise of Sonic Youth…as furious as it is pop adjacent. It sounds like punk made for adults who are still angry at the world but don’t have the energy to be mad all the time.” – If It’s Too Loud