We are incredibly excited to announce that as of today, our new song “Alarms” has been added to regular rotation at WFNX 101.7 here in Boston. We are honored and proud to have the first station in the country to play bands like Nirvana, The Killers, and Foster the People, on our side, not to mention one of the last remaining defenders of new rock on terrestrial radio (The Joy Formidable, one of our favorite new bands, is also in rotation). For those of you outside of Massachusetts, you can listen online at WFNX.com or 92.1 in New Hampshire. More updates soon to come…
Archive for the ‘Press’ Category
On the spectrum of rock music, guitar-laden hard rock is underrepresented in the Boston — and, honestly, national — rock scene. Boston-based RIBS took action to change that on Friday night at their album release party at T.T. the Bear’s.
The energetic power pop pumped up the fairly full rock venue in Cambridge, a good showing for the holiday weekend. With cuts from their latest take, “Russian Blood” on full display, the punchy guitars of tracks like “Destructo” and the single “Kiss” called to mind alt. rock acts from the ’90s.
Other songs were simply straight-forward rockers with simple chord progressions… regardless, with a minimal, but effective, light display, a solid stage presence and an emphasis on the reverb, RIBS lock in their spot as one Boston’s top local rock acts.
BOSTON, MA: Friday 5/25/12 @ TT The Bear’s Place w/ Suicide Dolls & Yoga Girls
- 8:30 PM
- 10 Brookline Street, Cambridge, MA 02139-4152
- Tickets: http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=4494785
- FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/331885876860883/
- Press: Boston Globe | Boston Phoenix | Ryan’s Smashing Life
It feels like forever since Boston rock band RIBS released the one-two sonic punch of their Locrian Singles. That was January 2011, and since then, the pulsating quartet has been hard at work meticulously crafting their EP follow-up, Russian Blood.
Primed for explosion, the first single, “Kiss,” was released today via the promo video above, and it’s also available as a free download. The track is a slow-burning sledgehammer of a tune, taking RIBS’ murky, underwater rock sound and adding a welcome heaviness the band hinted at on previous standouts like “Brains Out” and“Please Don’t Go.”
But “Kiss” is just a taste — the entire Russian Blood record is a potent post-modern mix of layered riffs, space-shot hooks, and dizzying atmospheric sounds; it’s music for a different mindset and one that should launch the band into the national realm just as we predicted back in our Class of 2011 feature around the timeLocrian dropped.
Grab the mp3 below, and tune in to Boston Accents on Sunday, May 20 as we’ll premiere the entire Russian Blood EP and have the dapper gentlemen of RIBS hanging out on-air in the WFNX studio. That Friday, May 25, they’ll drop the record at T.T. The Bear’s Place in Cambridge on a pretty killer bill with Autochrome, the Suicide Dolls and Yoga Girls, and then RIBS head down to New York City the following night for a release party in the Dirty Apple alongside Viva Viva and Frank Smith at Brooklyn’s Public Assembly.
Let’s all make out.
From the very first riff of RIBS’s rumbling new single “Kiss,” it doesn’t take long for the sonic seismograph to start tracing a zigzag across your headspace. The quartet’s first release since the one-two suckerpunch of last January’s atmospheric Locrian Singles, “Kiss” is a pure growler, a sledgehammer of a tune that wedges its way into your ears and sprawls across four eerie minutes, eventually striking a low-down choral groove that only serves to momentarily stop the song’s pounding ritual. “Kiss” is the fitting first-strike single off RIBS’ new Russian Blood EP — a textured, modern hard-rock record that’s dark, meticulous, and crafted with a gunslinger’s precision. We rarely feel earthquakes here in Boston – 08.23.11, never forget – but RIBS will shake up T. T. The Bear’s next Friday, May 25, as they drip Russian Blood on a sterling rock bill alongside Connecticut rabble-rousers the Suicide Dolls and the mysterious Yoga Girls.
Tune in to Boston Accents this Sunday at 8 pm when RIBS crash the WFNX studio in Lynn.
Yes, really. Go here to find out what SYFFAL stands for…
The Boston Globe has some nice things to say about our upcoming EP and record release show.
Read it here:
Chris Oquist and Keith Freund, the guitar/vocals and drums half of local four-piece RIBS, are coming from somewhere a bit more researched than the average new band.
On a recent night out over drinks in Allston, Freund thinks back on an industry conference panelist’s idea of top-down bands versus bottom-up bands.
“A top-down example was like Destiny’s Child,” says Freund. “They were picked out by a label and forced down to the masses through a huge infrastructure of radio and money. Whereas there was this rapper named Bone Crusher who came up out of Atlanta selling mix tapes out of the back of his car, building it for himself.”
Freund stops to ponder the utility of both models, but Oquist doesn’t need much time to decide.
“I’m pretty sure I’d rather be Destiny’s Child than Bone Crusher,” he says with a shrug.
RIBS, a band with a music business sense incubated at Berklee, has deployed its searingly loud music in small doses so far — a single here and there, basically, since 2010 — and Freund sees each song playing off different sides of that dynamic. He notes that songs like last winter’s “Please Don’t Go” worked like regular publicity angles and garnered great local press, while others like “Queen of Hearts” have taken on viral lives of their own on fan-created YouTube videos and Reddit. It’s a solid analytical approach that they’ve adopted toward their work; but time as a band has also taught them the benefits of loosening up and simply rocking out.
Freund woke up at 2 p.m. on this day, caught in the middle of a mix-down binge of “Russian Blood,” the EP they’re set to release with a show at T.T. the Bear’s on May 25. It’s an epic mix of high octane stuff — post-rock/metal scorchers poured into vaguely pop molds with Billy Corgan levels of immodesty. The band puts on a serious light show onstage — over 55 cables need connecting before every set — and this music was built for it.
RIBS is Freund’s first band, assembled during his last semester in school through band-wanted ads that name-checked stylistic touchstones like Muse and Smashing Pumpkins. He ended up with childhood friend Blake Fusilier, a second guitarist in shredding prodigy Justin Tolan (featured in Guitar Player magazine at age 18), and Oquist, who had been drumming in a black metal band.
Oquist came from the school’s music business department and went about things from that mind-set in the beginning — working out a pro-looking Web presence, booking tours, fiddling with schedules for YouTube teasers. Still, a few years on the circuit helped reveal some new truths. Oquist found himself at Boston’s trend-setting Rethink Music conference last week and started to notice the unfortunate focus of lots of upcoming bands.
“Everyone is looking for a silver bullet,” he said. “What can Foursquare do for me? What does Instragram do? Can I be a Pinterest band?” It all seemed pointless, he decided, if everyone stopped paying attention to their own music. But RIBS comes off like a new-fangled hybrid — taking advantage of a well-resourced background and launching a perfectly haywire creative adventure from there.
“Russian Blood” is thoroughly DIY — mixed at Freund’s apartment, recorded in their practice space — but it carries itself like a really big deal. There are cement-grinding atmospherics out of Trent Reznor’s playbook and canyon banshee wails echoed from long-lost U2 anthems. It’s full of the visceral joys of music — the growl in the bass, the gleefully dissonant guitars; concerns that seem far removed from counting online friends and Twitter followers. There are epileptic moments that threaten to rattle apart at every bolted-down connection, bringing to mind ’90s electro-noisers like Braniac. The song designated as the lead single, “Kiss,” is a totally unruly pummeling from off-centered, fuzzed-out bass, and gut-check drums.
Freund says he’s learned to let go a little bit — after two years and a couple mini-tours and even a concussion suffered during one show’s overexcited guitar swapping. But he’s still a fiend for lists — he can pull them up on his iPhone in seconds: lists for three days before the show (make sure the club has a tech rider), lists for a day before the show (make sure Oquist has drum mallets), lists for sound check (put phone in airplane mode). He has lists for lists, and he isn’t giving them up soon.
“Hey, the lists help me worry less,” he says. “It means I can just go out and play when it’s time.”
Here’s a feature and review of our song “Brains Out” by RockBandAide, a Rock Band video game fan site. Brains Out became available for Rock Band 3 on Xbox 360 last week:
A high-energy slice of rock awesomeness, Brains Out starts out deceptively simple but soon tests the mettle of any band member. Pounding drumbeats, harmonies that hit the stratosphere and a crystal clear guitar riff combine to form a song more than worth a look.
Guitarists will need to be au fait with the mechanics of alt-strumming to truly succeed – there’s an awkward riff that could pose a challenge for those who have mastered the technique. A distortion heavy solo isn’t too difficult but throws the spotlight on the guitarist for a few seconds. Alt-strumming will also come in handy for the chord dominant final sections to the song. This isn’t a guitar focused song but what guitar there is proves satisfying enough. Bass again requires a good deal of alt-strumming but would serve well as a warm-up song.
The kick-pedal skills of your drummer will definitely get a workout (as will the drummer as well) with a rather quick kick-pedal pattern underscoring the main beat. There are no tricky rhythms – just a near constant pounding beat that will have your calf muscles burning at the end. Your arms will also get a fitness wake-up; the stamina-proving ride cymbal tempo is quick enough to build up a sweat.
Vocals and harmonies really shine – the rather odd lyrics juxtaposed with the alt-rock feel to the song lend it a strangely alluring quality. Couple that with an amazing three-part communion of different melodies at the end and you’ve got something that is immediately singable but requires co-ordination aplenty. The lead vocals often jump from low to high in the space of a phrase, so put your strongest vocalist up front for this one.
I’d never heard of the band, album (British Brains) or song before this was released on RBN – evidence of the Aladdin’s Cave of new music that the RBN has turned out to be. For the bargain price of 80 MSP this demands attention!
Sounds like: A dash of Mute Math, a touch of Muse perhaps
Perfect for: Stamina-busting drummers, co-ordinated harmonies
Exploding In Sound:
There are far too few bands these days aiming to take over the world, but Boston’s RIBS seem to be up for the task. With a sound built for stadium audiences, their blend of epic alternative rock is already larger than life, and the young band has a stage show to match. Blistering space rock with anthemic choruses and mercilessly beaten drums¸ RIBS sound is primed with optimism, under thick layers of distorted guitars of course. The quartet’s range is truly special, as the band seamlessly moves from hook filled radio hits to slow burning post-rock rich in atmosphere and aggressive grunge to dark new wave inspired electro pop. Patience is a mandatory requirement for RIBS fans, as their carefully plotted moves and attention to detail can keep them away for extended periods of time, just making it all the more crucial when you get to see them live in action. Already earning comparisons to Smashing Pumpkins, Muse, and Radiohead throughout the press, RIBS are only getting started.
We’re playing WFNX’s secret Alternatour show this Sunday in Boston with Mona. There are only two ways to get in: listen to WFNX and win tickets, or win them from us. Over the next three days, we’ll be giving away three pairs of tickets to RIBS email alerts subscribers. Make sure you sign up here to win tickets.
Listen to the WFNX Morning Show (101.7 FM Boston) this Thursday for a band interview.
On Tuesday May 10th, Strange Matter will host a show that will feature Historic, Ear Theory, RIBS, and Collen Applegate. I had the chance to catch up with three of the members of RIBS, a Boston-based band who is playing in Richmond for the very first time. Y’all make them feel welcome, ya hear?
RIBS is Keith Freund on vocals and guitar, Blake Fuslier on bass and vocals, Justin Tolan on guitar, and Chris Oquist on drums. Keith and Blake grew up in Atlanta, and then transferred to Boston for school at Boston University. They heard about a “shred guitar prodigy” by the name of Justin Tolan who was, incidentally, also from Atlanta. Talk about fate. Keith and Blake weren’t to meet Justin, however, until Keith responded to a “band wanted” ad that listed Radiohead, Muse, and Aphex Twin as influences. As it turns out, it was Justin’s ad, and the two became three. A little later, drummer Chris Oquist joined the band and they started making music together. Now they are a band on the move, nominated for The Boston Phoenix/WFNX Best Music Poll and named one of The Boston Phoenix’s Eleven Bands to Watch in 2011.
Enough bio stuff. Let’s get to the interview.
OK guys – what the heck does RIBS stand for? Why the mysterious capitalization?
It’s a well-kept secret.
Then you won’t mind if I make something up for all those curious Richmonders?
Have at it. [Note: I have a dirty mind, so none of the suggestions I have are safe for work, nor germane to the band’s style, so I shall refrain.]
I’ve read about how you guys met and how the band started, so I’ll skip those questions and go to my number one favorite question I love to ask musicians. What was your FIRST favorite album?
Keith: Beach Boys, Greatest Hits.
Keith, I’ve read that many of your musical influences haven’t made their way into your music thus far. Do you see the Beach Boys making into your repertoire somehow?
Keith: [chuckle] Not any time soon.
Blake: Outkast, ATLiens. I really didn’t start LISTENING to music until I was a teenager.
Keith: When I was a kid I listened to oldies with my parents. After that, radio rap and other stuff. I developed my own taste later.
[Justin enters the room. We had just been talking about whether the band had ever played RVA before (answer is NO, as mentioned earlier), and Justin chimes in that he has been in Richmond before – for a flood. He tells me he rode down the street in an innertube. I share with him the hope that he does not bring a flood with him this time. He echoes this sentiment, not commenting on the implication that he might have the power to control the weather. He then answers my favorite first album question.]
Justin: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by Smashing Pumpkins. I was seven years old and my sister had been listening to the album and didn’t want it anymore. I loved it, but my parents went through with a sharpie and marked out the eff words in the liner notes.