The Riptides, Canada’s answer to The Queer’s. The Boys from the nations capital are back with a little taste of surfer pop-punk Canada style. I’ll admit I have a soft spot for The Riptides. I grew up in a small town outside of Ottawa and we didn’t have bands tour our town, but fortunately for us we had The Riptides. Coming to play for 20 or 30 kids at the local youth center probably didn’t seem like much at the time but 20 years later there’s a whole generation of small town punks who saw them as their introduction to a live punk rock show.
Without a doubt Canadian Graffiti is a testament to the awesomeness that is old school surfer pop-punk. Songs like “Goodbye Hawaii” and “Waterloo” are throwbacks to bands like The Queers and the Ramones. Simple riffs mixed with witty, sarcastic lyrics are what made this Dying Scenester fall in love with punk to begin with. It’s not all surfer punk though, if you dig a more heavy, angry sound. Tracks like “Whimpy Goes to Washington” and “Homing Missle” fill the void. Slightly more distorted guitars with a grungier lyric delivery, it’s a good contrast to the bouncy surfer jams.
The Riptides even get Bif Naked to sing a tune on the new album. “Someone Just Like You” was a particularly good track, the contrast between Andy’s throaty singing and Bif Naked’s lovely growl is a perfect mix. As with every Riptides album there’s a ton of comedy. I particularly enjoyed “Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My Tardis” as well as the throwback “Beam Me Up”. Anyone whose followed the Riptides from the start will remember “The Creature that Ate My Brain”, the song “Beam Me Up” brings you back to those early days of The Riptides, fun, punk music.
If nothing else The Riptides are fun music, it comes through in their lyrics, it’s no doubt helped this band carve out a 20 year career. They have fun, they don’t take themselves too seriously, it’s what makes Canadian punk music great. Without a doubt my favorite Riptides album to date. Top to bottom this album cuts the mustard, a good mix of heavy, surf, pop-punk, comedy and honesty are what make this album great. All in all I give this album 4.5 stars it’s without a doubt the best Riptides album to date, and is a world away from the California Reamin’ years.