Published: April, 2007, West Coast Performer Magazine

The Brink "Ripe"
(Sizehawk Music)
Mastered by Mark Fuller

By Michael Fortes

Next time Blondie and The New Cars swing through San Francisco, they'd be wise to invite The Brink to provide opening support. The duo of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Butch Berry and drummer Drew Yurkov recorded Ripe last year as their entrée into retro new wave (they have since added bassist Jason Smith to round out the band). Since its release, the album has gained attention on, where The Brink has earned numerous awards (all listed on the band's MySpace profile).

The Brink has a serious Cars obsession. Those "Let's Go"-era keyboard washes define a good chunk of The Brink's sound. Moving past 1980, "Lot To Lose" calls even Madonna to mind, as the song's "all over, all over" device in the first verse unashamedly places the hook from her hit "Dress You Up" into the band's lexicon. Underscoring the throwback motif is the sound of a stylus crackling in a vinyl record's grooves at the beginning and end of what would be "Side One" and "Side Two" of the album.

Vocals are a strong point, as Berry's tenor slides with an ease and smoothness that will garner wide appeal. While the disc itself sounds a bit distant and has a marked demo quality to it, the songs are hooky and strong enough not to get completely lost in the low-fi sound.

Every band needs a good visual image to succeed, and Berry's red shirt and tie peeking through staggered parallelograms against the album cover's black background screams style. These guys have it, and they wear it well.

The Brink album cover