The music of RIBS has always been something of a visceral experience, a swirl of emotion that plays on both what is heard and what isn’t; few bands have employed a sound’s negative space over the years quite like the Boston-born, NYC-based duo. Last year they returned after several years deep inside their creative bunker to unleash two rousing singles in “1992” and “Too Long”, and today (July 30), RIBS continue their extended re-introduction with a hymnal called “Hand.”
The metallic, post-industrial sound of RIBS’ previous singles gives way here to something more cloud-lifted than chrome-weighted, and the atmospheric “Hand” floats on an angelic light beam cast down from above. Its ascension is greeted by the track’s climax with RIBS’ usual knack for dystopian soundscapes slowly creeping in, a closing siren call for the message relayed. A masterclass in restraint, what isn’t heard on “Hand” echoes just as loudly as what is audible.
Perhaps it’s the quiet before the storm, or perhaps it’s the eye of it. What comes next for RIBS is aligned with what comes next for any of us as we navigate 2020. To dwell on it too much would just limit the next possibility, or scare us back into oblivion.