The Drips - The Drips (Cover Artwork)

The Drips

The Drips (2006)

White Drugs

My first impression of the Bronx was disappointment. My second was boredom, and my third was well, disappointment and boredom. But for some reason, I decided to give the record a couple more listens and I soon understood where all the hype was coming from. Somewhere behind Matt Caughthran's Dennis Lyxzén impression Iggy Pop and Spencer Moody were trying to get a word in edge-wise, and deep down below the bombastic rythym section and the crushing guitars was really just a rock 'n' roll record amped up on whiskey and blow.

Needless to say, the Bronx's first record remains one of my all-time favorites. So, when I heard that Caughthran and Bronx guitarist Joby J. Ford had a side project called the Drips, I was more than a little excited. And I had reason to be: The five-piece, which I would later find out is rounded off by guitarist Tony Bradley (Distillers), drummer Vince, and bassist Dave Hidalgo (Los Lobos), offer an energetic and unique -- if not all that original -- helping of thrashy California pop-punk in the vein of their coastal ancestors Hot Snakes, Agent Orange, and the Descendents.

The whole thing was recorded strictly on two-inch tape in just two days at L.A.'s Wet and Dry Studio (Mars Volta, 400 Blows) and you can tell. That being said, the analog sounds provide a great backdrop for the band's refreshingly energetic and fun batch of songs. The band falls completely flat on really only a couple of tracks ("Down Brown" and "Wasted Time") but makes up for it with the irresistible sing-alongs of "I'm Gone" and "Fountains," somber ballads "16, 16, 6" and "Old Sex" and speedy rockers "Broken" and "Coastline."

This record, to me at least, is the equivalent of sitting under a pier (or a bridge, or a rock, or a stoop depending on where you're from) smoking a joint, and sharing a 40 with your best friends. It's fun, memorable, and makes you fucking shake.