R.I.P., Street Reaper (Riding Easy Records)
[STREET DOOM] On the surface, Portland's R.I.P. don't resemble your average doom metal band. They call their music "street doom," rock Eazy-E T-shirts and use scythes for mic stands. In such a serious and morose genre, R.I.P. inject a rare dose of levity into their image. But spend 45 minutes with the band's new LP, Street Reaper, and R.I.P. appear much less iconoclastic. They pilfer pulpy '70s and '80s doom for all it's worth, from the theatrical vocals, to the "dark" lyrical clichés, to the slew of predictable transitions between time signatures. The album's most damning moment comes when the band bites Black Sabbath on consecutive songs. The reverb-drenched crawl of "Shadow Folds" is a dead ringer for "Electric Funeral," while ensuing track "The Dark" opens with a guitar interlude that makes use of similar chords and tone as Sabbath's own interlude, "Embryo." Couple that with bong-hit revelations like "Down deep inside your mind/There's a sea that you can't find," and Street Reaper seems best enjoyed when experiencing the dazed wonderment and temporary memory loss associated with sweet leaf. If you have no time for the psychedelia, abrasion or ambitious concepts of other doom metal, and prefer something burly, macho and immediate, R.I.P. are your guys. Otherwise, you're best off leaving Street Reaper on the shelf.=
SEE IT: R.I.P. plays Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy Blvd., with Cauldron, Amulet and Magnabolt, on Friday, Oct. 13. 9 pm. $10 advance, $13 day of show. 21+. Get tickets here.