RUSTY SHIPP: Dark Side of the Ocean

One thing is when you operate a radio station you end up listening to or at least hearing a LOT of music.  Some good, some not so good and the reality is sometimes stuff comes at you so fast all you can do is scan it and see if it fits our format.  Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and some “regular type rock stuff” that you hope people will enjoy.

Honestly I’m pretty particular myself and I desire Heaven’s Metal Streaming Radio to be a place that anyone who wants to hear cool new stuff, classic old school and everything in between to come and enjoy it.  So by know many of you are wondering “Well that’s all good and all but who is Rusty Shipp and WHY are you reviewing them?” (if you were like me feel free to read on…)

Great question and firstly let me say that I’d never heard of them before, well until last year when I think we received a promo notification about their track “Bottom of the Barrel.” Russ sent it to me I think or Doug Van Pelt. I listened and thought “Pretty good, it’ll add some diversity to our rotation.” And I kinda left it at that, how did I know what was coming.  More singles, and some I just couldn’t get to several of them because 2022 was an amazing year of Metal and Rock releases.

However let’s cut to the chase.  Rusty Shipp’s latest album “Dark Side of the Ocean” is a fantastic array of song writing, production, performance and style. To my chagrin I completely overlooked this complete work since I only received singles initially.  With a high nautical theme of all things oceanic, in the ocean and on it, the metaphor lyrically is of high order.  You can enjoy the sailor themed lyrics or take a look beneath and dig deeper.  I find this extremely pleasing and enjoy the hunt, Grave Robber is perhaps my other favorite band that does this so well.

With a sound that combines grungy guitar, classic rock stylings, reggae, Pirates of the Caribbean (minus the Johnny Depp drama), even a little punk  with a whole lotta fun you get Rusty Shipp.  The brain child of Russ T. Shipp, “Dark Side of the Ocean,”  is their 3rd album release.  I feel like I’ve been missing something pretty special.

The songs themselves are catchy with enough groovy heaviness that should grab most fans of heavier music, unless it needs to sound like a cement mixer to capture your interest.  The did win a Grizzly Award for the track “Bottom of the Barrell” and rightfully so, hooky, dark spooky and catchy as all get out.  However this isn’t the only home run hit on this album, “What’s Kracken” (you like that play on words? Genius!) is another bit of musically whimsy that digs it’s claws in deep and doesn’t let go. I’m not going to do a full song by song description here, needless to say there is a lot being said lyrically. Wrapping it in a delightful hard music package. They even cover a Pink Floyd tune, “Us and Them” which fits the narrative and atmosphere here. (The album this song is taken from isn’t lost me either.)

By Russ’s own admission lyrically you can get a deep as you want with their music. The lyrics may not scream a spiritual message on first blush, but if you spend a few moments and THINK about what is being sung a deeper message becomes clear. This I appreciate due to the fact it adds to my own enjoyment when I discover the more obvious meaning it becomes more personal to me and the music becomes my own.  There is a complete story that accompanies this release on the bands website. I do wish it had been included along with lyrics and such on the physical release, but alas not the case. It’s all about cost.

Rusty Shipp “Dark Side of the Ocean” should’ve been in my top 10 of 2022 however due to my neglect it wasn’t.  Please please do yourself a favor and check out this absolutely stellar of 2022 if you haven’t already done so.  Buy a CD, Shirt, support the artist, this album is a classic IMO.  Memorable, well crafted, and far above the usual rock din released these days. Ahoy Matey!

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1 thought on “RUSTY SHIPP: Dark Side of the Ocean

  1. Bottom of the Barrel was my favorite song of 2022 and Dark Side of the Ocean was probably in my top 3 albums. I first heard of and saw them at the Kingdom Come Festival in Indiana last summer and their set blew me away, definitely fell into the hard/heavy camp. Great band, great guys, and a solid message as well, glad they are getting some much-deserved attention.

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