Although they’re now a trio with the addition of John Jeffrey on drums, Ripley and Sanae make the same conceptual art-rock, comprised of equal parts drone, fuzz and melody. The secret is the right combination of power, rhythm and repetition, which makes Shadow Of The Sun, their third full album, as satisfying as the first two, especially when intoxicated. But there’s one track, ‘Animal’ (on the 7” accompanying the vinyl album and on the digital and CD releases), which sounds like nothing they’ve done before: fast and fuzzy, urban and edgy, with a West Coast punk feel. It’s a reminder not to take them for granted.
The other tracks, though, share a sound: ‘Wilding’ is fearsomely rhythmic, its unstoppable beat containing elements of the Doors, Spacemen 3 and Suicide, with a spacey guitar solo. ‘Zero’ is Cure-ish dark pop and ‘In A Cloud’ has a touch of the Velvet Underground and guitars sloughing off long blasts of icy notes like a calving glacier. Best song, apart from ‘Animal’, is the catchy ‘Slow Down Low’, with its addictive beat, sunshine melody and glam-pop tones. There’s pretty much a guitar solo on every song but – Ripley Johnson being a guitar ace - each is different in tone and effect. The album picks up where the last one left off, but it never sounds samey – just consistently high quality.