The Riptides  - Tales from Planet Earth (Cover Artwork)

The Riptides

Tales from Planet Earth (2009)

Asian Man

Some albums just don't warrant a second listen. Tales from Planet Earth, from Ottawa Ontario's leather jacket donning Riptides is one of those albums. It doesn't make me want to tear out my eyes, but it does require some patience to get through. It's not bad; it's just boring. The band's Asian Man Records debut is too tame to provide any measure of replayability and even the first play is rather yawn-inducing.

Their "Ramones-core" sound bears a striking resemblance to tour partners the Queers, or perhaps Teenage Bottlerocket, and I take no issue with this, but this record completely fails lyrically. More than once I found myself blushing from lyrics reminiscent of poor middle school poetry. The recurring line of "Two-Minute Penalty", which goes "you get two minutes for breaking my heart", is especially bad, but maybe that's just because when anyone other than Gord Downie uses a hockey metaphor I can't help but think of Stompin' Tom Conners.

The album does have its bright points. "Omega Man" is a good track and the closer "Shit Outta Luck" seems to almost break the mold set by the rest of the album with its cynically political first verse, even if it isn't very original. Unfortunately, these moments of mild inspiration don't last–sometimes not even for the duration of an entire song–and they're too few and far between to rescue this album from being forgettable. Tales from Planet Earth is too musically generic to overcome its unremarkable lyrics, which leave far too much to be desired.