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The Riffs

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Biography

In the early 2000s, there were at least three bands calling themselves the Riffs. One was a British ska band, another was a New Jersey band that had a retro '70s outlook and cited Grand Funk Railroad, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Rod Stewart as primary influences. The focus of this bio, however, is a punk band from Portland, OR. Influenced by both American and British bands, Portland's Riffs are a snarling, in-your-face outfit that recalls the classic punk bands of the late '70s and early '80s. The Portland, OR-based residents are totally unaffected by the emocore bands that were all over alternative rock radio in the '90s and early 2000s and their music is a passionate, unapologetic throwback to the old school punk of the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Dead Boys, and Sham 69. The Riffs' sound isn't entirely American or entirely British, although pioneering British punks like the Sex Pistols, Sham 69, and the Clash have greatly influenced the band and their sound has also been affected by American bands such as the Dead Boys. The Riffs, which formed in the '90s, have also claimed some pre-punk bands as influences, most notably T. Rex (as in "Bang a Gong"). The Riffs' lineup consists of lead singer Tony Mengis, Dogsbody, Amphetamine Blue, Saigon Shakes, and drummer Carl. Before the Riffs, these artists belonged to other Portland punk bands: The Riffs includes former members of the Champions, Deathcharge, Defiance, and Resist. The Riffs' first full-length album, Underground Kicks, was released on the Pelado label in 1999. In 2001, the Riffs signed with TKO, a Richmond, VA-based indie that has specialized in hardcore punk. In March 2002, TKO released their second album, Dead End Dream, on both CD and LP. ~ Alex Henderson

Top Songs

Genre
Years Active:

'50s, '60s, '90s, '00s

Contemporaries