Hate It When You're Right

The Off Ramps

Deluxe, 2006

http://myspace.com/theofframps

REVIEW BY: Shane M. Liebler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/19/2007

So the price of gas has zapped your cash flow. Your introduction to a professional career has landed you a job is some backwater ‘burg. You had a girlfriend, but she left you after you fell through the sliding glass door at that party last weekend… again.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Good to know there’s affordable entertainment within walking distance. Good to know the folks playing there can probably relate.

These good, hard-working groups that all-too-frequently get relegated to gray “bar band” status can certainly improve your evening. Far less often, they issue a worthwhile LP like Hate It When You’re Right to take home with you.

Michigan’s Off Ramps have had some practice, though. The surprisingly full sound and oft-catchy choruses hang together well for this Detroit-area trio formed from stints with other local acts.

And the sound is a pleasant combination of roadhouse balladry, opportune indie rock riffing and low-key vocals. Not bad for a group of dudes who look well past the ripe local stardom age of “Twenty3,” the opening track that gives cause for attention. It’s the right-on, off-beat diversions that give these Replacements-style power pop tracks their allure.

The strong start continues with the “Really doesn’t make it alright,” choruses of “Hallmark Holiday” and twangy introduction to “Chapter Eight.”  "Motorcade” suffers from a lack of up-to-this-point quality lyrics. “Impulse Buy” is another fumble word-wise, but tunes like bender ode “Skoal Motel” and the punk-drunk pop of “Riding Fences” recover nicely.

On the whole, Hate It will help you remember why you love power trios and hanging out at the bar. Contrary to most pub rock, though, you’ll probably want to see the band after you hear the record first instead of the other way around.

Rating: C+

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© 2007 Shane M. Liebler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Deluxe, and is used for informational purposes only.