Rib Cages is a Portland-based duo-now-trio that was brought to my attention via my buddy Jeremy. And dammit, if this tape ain't some great scuzz I don't know what is.
This tape, how I understand it, is the debut recording of the new trio format and includes songs from their 7inch as well as new ones. I haven't heard the 7inch so I can't say if a bassist improves their sound or not but this tape sounds pret-tay good. Oh yeah, I should note the guitarist plays a 12-string. And his name is Nation.
Rib Cages kick things off with one of their best jams "In Wilderness." After a lumbering, borderline classic rock (not really) intro they whip out the breakneck riffage. The saturated tape recording gives each track a thunderous rumble with the guitar piercing through. "Lock Horns" is a bruised and blistered mangling of 50s/60s bluesy rock 'n roll spit out urgently in about 80 seconds, yet it still finds plenty of time for a nice guitar lead. "Blame It On" channels its fierceness into an odd, elliptical structure sustaining tension throughout the song. The recording quality is even more bombed out on "Ain't a Woman Alive" furiously slurring the relentless garage blues anthem. "Right On or Wrong" really lays into a single chord, occasionally breaking it up with a descending progression building to an almost Berry-ish solo. "Broken Finger" might be the best of the bunch though. It definitely echoes "In Wilderness" but it's a sharper, tighter version. It's got a killer riff that's way more catchy than it should be and the band never really rests on their laurels. They're always throwing some kink into the arrangement which should make it difficult for the song to get stuck in your head, but somehow it does anyway. Real easily. "Iowa Jones" (ha!) closes the tape in under a minute, huffing and puffing the whole way. All in all, it's a great set of scum rock from a band you're sure to hear more about. Let's give them a warm welcome.
I think this tape can be gotten at shows, and maybe through the band's myspace, if there are still copies.