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To say that the Ripe is something of a supergroup in the Austin garage rock scene won’t really mean anything to anyone who doesn’t travel in those circles, but, for the record, frontguy Jake Garcia used to sling guitar for the Ugly Beats and bassist Gian Ortiz holds down the bottom in Amplified Heat. While the Ripe certainly lays 60s garage pop down as the foundation of its sound, Into Your Ear is no journey through Retroville. Garcia’s jangling guitar and melodic whine would sound just as at home in mid-80s Great Britain as mid-60s Los Angeles, and his way with a melody gives “Lost Weekend,” “Oubliette” and “Orchestra” a soaring pop sound way beyond anything tied to a specific era. “Neverending” and “The Greatest” add some rock & roll muscle, while “Constant Waves” hits the acid blotter before plugging in. I’ll admit to occasionally wishing Garcia had a little more testosterone in his voice, but given the strength of his melodies it’s a minor complaint. It’s a neat trick to affect both nostalgia and timelessness, but the Ripe pulls off the balance adroitly.
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