The Riverdales

The Riverdales

Phase Three


I haven’t been feeling well lately, which is just my passive way of saying that I’ve been depressed. But right at this moment, I feel better. I’m listening to The Riverdales’ Phase Three while in the basement of the George Washington University library.

I’m listening to the album, and silently scanning the computer lab for hot chicks, but I can’t help but to tap my foot to this infectious power-punk. I’m obviously making noise, because all these beautiful women are looking at me (and, why else would they be checking me out if I wasn’t annoying them?).

Really, the most important part of those first two paragraphs is that I’m listening to The Riverdales’ Phase Three, and I’m enjoying it immensely. So, forget all that other nonsense.

This album is peppered with Ramones tributes (“Homesick” and “Party at the Beach”), which is just fine with me because if it wasn’t for this particular album, I would be listening to Rocket to Russia or some other equally brilliant Ramones record.

The Riverdales blaze effortlessly through with tight, catchy songs. Sure, two songs are too similar for my taste, especially since they’re lumped together (“Sniper” and “Lead the Way”), but who really cares when the album is this warm and genuine, with just the right amount of “punk” to make me feel better.

Phase Three exhibits a certain maturity that was first featured on guitarist/vocalist Ben Foster’s (aka Ben Weasel) first solo record, Fidatevi. For instance, “Out of My Heart” shows off the modernity and growth he displays on that record: a progressive bridge, engaging vocals and a solid, driving harmony. “Last Stop Tokyo” is probably one of the better tunes — not only does it incorporate all of the above, but it is a tightly arranged song.

“I Believe In You and Me” is a very simple, catchy song about, what else, love, with bassist Dan Schafer featured as a vocalist. And I must also mention Dan Lumley’s contributions. As the drummer, he provides a great symphonic backbeat to all the songs.

Point is, this album represents one of the better punk performances in my humble, post-depressed opinion.

The Riverdales: /

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