steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Israel Nash Gripka

"New York Town" CD


Genre: singer / songwriter, alt country, folk rock

New York City, NY

October 2009

How many inoffensive folk-rock, "adult alternative" artists can this world support? Sadly, Gripka brings us nothing we haven't heard before - his style is starkly reminiscent of that of Ryan Adams, Jack Johnson and their ilk, crossed with a vague classic rock flare and a noticeable alt-country angle. The songs are competently written and produced, with many a fine melody; the real issue is that the music scene is already saturated with budding singer/songwriters, and Gripka provides nothing groundbreaking or particularly original on this rather lengthy, twelve-song album.

With that said, Gripka can be commended for the strong melodic composition found on many of these songs. "Evening" packages a perfectly hummable melody in a downtrodden, Neil Young-esque sound (see video below). Breezy "Either Way" (dig the falsetto) and passionate "Bricks" also boast respectable hooks. Still, this record's disappointingly generic nature imbues much of the proceedings with a sense of "going through the motions." In an industry flooded with this sort of fare, Gripka will face an uphill battle trying to separate himself from the hordes.

israel nash gripka's myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, distributed by CD Baby, released February 17, 2009]