Tripwires – House to House

January 01, 1970

(Spark &


Seattle’s Tripwires released a solid debut last
year entitled Makes You Look Around (on
the Paisley Pop label) and here we are, less than a year later, with the band’s
sophomore effort. The term “supergroup” has been tagged on ‘em by more than a
handful of folks and it is accurate to a degree but think more Minus 5 than
Chickenfoot. Speaking of Minus 5, the Tripwires are led by the 5’s guitarist,
John Ramberg, while the lineup is rounded out by Seattle’s Sangster Brothers (Jim and Johnny,
the former from the Young Fresh Fellows and the latter an in-demand producer)
and on drums is ex-Screaming Tree Mark Pickerel. On paper it sure sounds good and thankfully they deliver
on House to House.


The record opens
with  “Drawing a Blank”: the first thing
you hear is Ramberg’s guitar, and if you’ve listened to the Minus 5 (or the
last Tripwires record) you already know the guy is hot stuff on the axe and his
supporting cast (to quote LeBron) is every bit his equal. “(Something In a)
Friday Night” could turn into one of the band’s top crowd pleasers in a live
setting with its weekend chorus while the curiously named “Ned Beatty’s in
Love” slows it down a bit and adds some well-placed handclaps and harmonies and
the fist-pumpin’ “Flowers of Winter” picks up the middle section of the record
which lags, if just a bit. The Tripwires have a lot of strengths and not a lot
of weaknesses so next time someone tells you the over 40 set can’t rock (or
write quality songs) then point ‘em the Tripwires way.


Standout Tracks: “(Something In a) Friday Night”, “Ned
Beatty’s in Love”, “Flowers of Winter”, “S. Charleston Blow-By” TIM HINELY



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