The Tripwires
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The Tripwires

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"The Tripwires- Big Electric Light- NPR Song Of The Day"

NPR.org, January 2, 2008 - Pedigree doesn't guarantee great songs, but listeners are in good hands with the Seattle supergroup The Tripwires, which features John Ramberg of The Minus 5 and Model Rockets, Jim Sangster of Young Fresh Fellows, Screaming Trees' Mark Pickerel and engineer/producer Johnny Sangster. The band's debut, Makes You Look Around, sounds less like a contemporary recording than an unearthed gem: Its classic power-pop would fit comfortably alongside vintage records by The Hollies and Big Star.

While it's hard to choose a standout, "Big Electric Light" sounds classic to its core: Guitars chime, harmonies shine, and the rhythm section lopes along in an ode to making dreams come true. The result sparkles with such innocence and optimism, it's hard to believe it wasn't written 40 years ago. Power-pop rarely grabs much of a commercial foothold, which only hammers home the notion that these seasoned musicians are making this charming, refreshing music for the sheer joy of it. - npr.org


Discography

The TRIPWIRES
Makes You Look Around

Label: Paisley Pop

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Bio

Singer-songwriter for the Model Rockets during the 90s, John Ramberg has also been known as the Minus 5's "Secret Weapon" on lead guitar and lead and backing vocals working along side Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3, R.E.M.) and Peter Buck (R.E.M.). Ramberg has also written, recorded and toured with country chanteuse Neko Case.

Between four studio albums and many tours of Spain with the Model Rockets, Ramberg began work on a solo album with the help of drummer Bill Rieflin (R.E.M., Ministry, Minus 5). Those sessions evolved into the formation of the group The Tripwires with his pals, Johnny Sangster (noted engineer for Mudhoney,The Posies), Jim Sangster (Young Fresh Fellows, Sgt Major, The Picketts) and drummer Mark Pickerel (Screaming Trees, Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands, Neko Case).

The group finished the album with a little help from the ubiquitous Scott McCaughey (organ, piano, bass harmonica, vocals, etc) and Kurt Bloch (Fastbacks, Mudhoney, Supersuckers), who mixed and mastered it. The group has honed its live show with regular gigs at Seattleā€™s clubs as well as the SXSW Music Fest in Spring of 2007.

"makes you look around" is a rock & roll record, but it isn't all down and dirty; it' bright, propulsive, and poppy, filled with big melodic hooks with polish that glistens at the all right moments. It's a masterful fusion of pub rock classicism, new wave pop,and pre-Beatles rock & roll - particularly Chuck Berry and The Everly Brothers, that bristles with energy.

From the opening rocker Lessonpony thru the the glorious pop perfection of Big Electric Light, the honky tonk thunder of Monument, a barnstorming version of Chuck Berry's Tulane to the loose-limbed snap and up-beat rockabilly of the closer, Sold Yer Guitar Blues, Ramberg and co. have created a brilliant modern rock & roll album inspired and informed by the past. Albums this effortless sounding are rare jewels. If you're an aficionado of this style of buoyant Brit Pub rock, "makes you look around" is absolutely indispensable!