I’m driving in my car one night to pick up a friend of mine, and I put on Ripe to give it a few more listens. I finally arrive to my destination, my friend enters my car and immediately asks, “Is this Medusa’s Disco?” Much to my surprise she instantly knew who the artist was, even a relatively unknown local band such as this, based only on a few seconds of the music. This spoke volumes to me and got me thinking about just how truly unique Medusa’s Disco actually is.
Being able to cultivate and own such an instantly recognizable and signature sound, especially one that is good, is such an incredibly hard thing to accomplish, but Medusa’s Disco has done just that. Ripe is only the latest example of the band further delving into exactly what it is that makes them so special and original. They hold nothing back in terms of songwriting, performance, or production value, allowing you to lose yourself in the music, making Ripe an absolute pleasure to listen to time and time again.
Check out the tracklist below!
1. State of Mind
2. Twisted Dentist (Novocaine) 06:22
5. Give Up
6. Atomic 7
7. Ode to SEEDS
8. Whatshisface from Whatevertown
9. Beautiful Creatures
For those of you who don’t know, Medusa’s Disco is a 4-piece high energy rock outfit based out of Lancaster, PA. Hunter Root and Wynton Huddle are the 2 main guitarists and vocalists for the band and are backed by drummer Alex Aument and bassist Ty Smith who is soon leaving the band. The band has a wide array of different influences that come together in helping make Medusa’s Disco own sound without ever really sounding too much like anything else. Huddle’s exotic and unique guitar playing coupled with his powerful roars and subtle-y intricate vocal melodies drive the sound of the band and have always been the biggest draw for me. Ripe features Huddle at his best, but much to my surprise, the real standout star for me on the record is Hunter Root. Root has a completely separate tonal quality to his voice than Huddle and it brings a layer of attractive uneasiness to the whole record. On top of that Root really shines through on his growls and screams on the album giving that extra layer of depth and interest when combined with Huddle’s signature vocals.
I’m not going into detail about each of the 9 tracks on the album but rather comment on a few of my favorites. “Twisted Dentist (Novocaine)” is my favorite track off the album and the second single the band released. It starts off the simple yet precise and effective syncopation that grows more complex to swell into some of the nastiest la’s and da’s I have ever heard. From here we enter a soundscape that takes us to the verse drenched in cools beats and thick harmonies that is quickly offset by the powerful chorus which exhibits exactly what makes this band special.
The chorus in “Twisted Dentist” showcases Huddle and Root playing off of one another’s vocals and balancing each other out to perfection. It is ripe with (pun fully intended) soaring melodies and harmonies both with clean and screaming vocals that feel incredibly visceral. After a couple of more verses and choruses the song transforms into a fun jam and then finds its way back to the familiar verse and chorus to bring it out.
Check it out below!
The other standout song for me is “Otherwise” which I can only describe as a psychedelic rock western. It is the shortest song on the record, but it’s incredibly catchy without ever feeling like the band is sacrificing any of their rock credibility. It has arguably my favorite bridge on the whole record as well showing just how cool and fierce Root’s vocals can be. It’s succinct, catchy, and rocks, and could easily be the most radio-friendly song on the record.
The biggest drawback for the Ripe as a whole is definitely the length of the songs. There isn’t a single song less than 4 minutes, with many of them pushing that 7 minute mark and beyond.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since all of the songs are entertaining all the way through, but it makes the album as a whole feel a little less special. When there’s lengthy jams incorporated into a majority of the songs that make you get to a point where you question if you’re even listening to the same track still multiple times on the record, you start to wonder if those last couple of minutes were even necessary. For this reason I highly recommend listening to Ripe in smaller doses rather than all the way through.
Ripe is an awesome album.
It features Medusa’s Disco at their best and not a single thing on the record feels forced or contrived in the slightest. Its authenticity mixed with its interesting songwriting and heavy-rocking performances make it sound unlike anything else out there right now. Although sometimes the jams seem to get away from themselves and drag on a tad too long, it’s never really an issue since they are entertaining and always end up back to a familiar place. 3 singles can already be streamed right now, but the whole album will drop officially tomorrow, on April 2nd.
For everything Medusa’s Disco and more, keep it tuned to The Hook, and links below!
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