RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Dave Davies – Rippin’ Up Time
Red River

Rating: B

Dave Davies is back with a new solo album that he says features “ten original new songs writing in the classic Kinks style.”  You know what?  He’s right! Then again, Dave is the guitarist for the band since the band was the band.  Even though his brother Ray writes most of the songs, Dave is a composer and he did kinda, sorta, pretty much invent the use of distorted power chords in rock and roll on the Kinks Klassics “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night.”  So, yeah, of course Dave’s new album is gonna have a Kinks flavor to it.

What he may have meant is that there are some songs that would fit well—really, really, really well—on a classic 1970’s era Kinks album.  If that is indeed what Dave meant, again, he’s correct.  “Front Room” is about the formation of the Kinks and all that is missing is Ray’s voice to make this a true Kinks tune. Dave even throws in the classic “You Really Got Me” riff at the songs end.  “King of Karaoke” is sooooo Kinks as well.  In fact, so are “Johnny Adams,” “Ripping Up Time,” “Semblance of Sanity” and “In the Old Days.”  It has been rumored Dave is open to a Kinks reunion and the music coming out of him certainly shows he has that band on his mind. 

The entire album is a trip down memory lane.  In the press release for the album, Davies admits “I had a lot of ideas in my head thinking about the past and how we started, and the Kinks and my own life and the present and what’s happening with my life now and concerns and worries, anxieties about the future. I suddenly had an image of all the times overlapping as if they’re all in one place in my mind. I thought I’d just write it from the point of view of a dream. It’s a mixture of emotions that I was going through as I was writing the songs, some would be happy or reflective or sad.”

Davies has a killer Kinks-meets-punk-meets-grunge distorted guitar sound here. Hell, in some ways one could say the sound belongs to him, as his playing was a major part of the Kinks music and very influential to the genres of both grunge and punk.  His vocals are even more British sounding than his brother’s but, being siblings, like the tunes, has a very distinctive Kinks sound to it.  In fact, the only thing that could make this better is if it was a Kinks album! 

I would love to hear Ray’s spin on some of these tunes.  Now, don’t get me wrong, Dave does not write songs like “Lola” or “Celluloid Heroes,” as he is more the support act for Ray on those kinds of songs.  Dave writes tunes more guitar-oriented and this is definitely his album.  The electric guitar playing Kink, Dave Davies, has created music with his past in mind, a past that is largely filled with the band he was in with his brother. 

It works well.  The album is edgier musically and clever lyrically... not quite as clever as Ray, but still clever, and has a rebel sensibility throughout. 

For this writer, that makes this one good enough for a few spins.

Tracks include:
1. Ripping Up Time
2. Semblance of Sanity
3. King of Karaoke
4. Front Room
5. Johnny Adams
6. Nosey Neighbours
7. Mindwash
8. Between the Towers
9. In The Old Days
10. Through My Window

By Jeb Wright