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Archie Ripple "Fighting Demons" Single Review - 28th March 2021

Updated: Apr 24, 2021

Review originally published by Welsh Connections on 28th March 2021.

“Fighting Demons”, the new track by Bridgend lockdown rockers Archie Ripple, is a valiant and up-beat punk number with a good helping of hard rock edge.

With unabashed punk rock hedonism, “Fighting Demons” sounds like a band enjoying themselves. The density and prominence of the chugging mids-heavy guitars brings Sugar, Dinosaur Jr. and Weezer to mind. The roundness of the bass and the hard rock lead guitar are satisfying. While in danger of sounding derivative, the song comes together cohesively and anything more elaborate would probably dampen the energy and excitement – a few awkward drum fills, some slightly-off guitar intonation and some indiscriminately pentatonic bass runs only enhance the vibe. The track’s homemade sound is largely a plus however it does show itself negatively in the vocals, which sit a little awkwardly on top of the mix while some nice harmony parts are buried. Unfortunately, this isn’t redeemed by the vocal performance which is passive and edgeless in contrast with the overall sound.

Lyrically, the track is a little puzzling. There’s a positive and personal feel to the lyrics with a theme of overcoming insecurities and fears and of using one’s power in the darkness. The chorus equates this to “fighting like a man” and I found myself pondering this line for quite some time. While I can’t tell if the intended interpretation is somewhat dated or something more progressive, the spirit of the song at least suggests one of bravery not bravado.

If big, bold punk rock is your bag, “Fighting Demons” could be one to get you pumped up, especially if Archie Ripple ever become a live band. Some selective fine tuning could land the band a killer recorded sound without taking off any edges.

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