R.I.P. - In the Wind - (8/10)
Published on August 4, 2016
Somewhere in Portland, the Reaper is out and he is coming for you. He rolls through graveyards. He brawls in the back alleys. He rumbles through every dive known to man. And he will not rest until he takes you by the head and break all twenty-two bones, one riff and one howl at a time. The Reaper is doom manifest and few bands summon him to do their bidding better than R.I.P. Heck, it is in the name! What they serve up on their debut (released on vinyl courtesy of Totem Cat Records) is an orgy of necromantic basslines, riffs fresh from the gutter and pipes calling out from the other side that rattle deep inside your brain. In the Wind is an engraving etched onto the tombstone of other doom heavyweights.
Across the album’s fifty-three minutes running time, the “West Coast Street Doom” quartet imbibe the listener with pure knuckle-dusting music the likes of which are seldom seen in the genre these days. That’s because R.I.P. have more in common with recently (and thankfully) resurrected NY troupe The Obsessed than their contemporaries, with a smidgeon of that punk attitude so loved by Wino and company: Vitus’ Thirsty and Miserable EP would make for another grand point of reference. Be forewarned this albums reeks of those rumbling DIY vibes – but it’s exactly what makes In the Wind such a refreshing listen; it’s less of a warning than a nudge in the right direction. One cannot tell if it was recorded in a garage or an open grave.
If opening fisticuffs ‘The Scythe’ and ‘In the Wind Pt. 1’ do nothing to whet your appetite then you best offer yourself up to the Reaper for the restlessness of this sonic onslaught does not let up. Sure it’s doom but you wouldn’t really know until the two stand out tracks: ‘Black Leather’ and ‘Smoke & Lightning” are as rebellious and ominous as the names suggest with enough fuzz to make any follower of true music drool for more and the solos that drag-race here will melt your face (as they will do in all of the tracks throughout). And whilst ‘Bereaved’ is a weighty slab of horror mysticism, ‘Brave in the Grave’ drags things down some ultra-slow bare-knuckle street fight between two inebriated foes. You can rest assured one will bury the other!
While In the Wind may be more raucous than crawling, there is no disputing the greatness that unfolds with every riff and with every blast and with every cavernous wail. This is graveyard rock’n’roll at its finest that just happens to be as pummelling and as heavy as the very beginning of the country’s dark love affair with doom. And with a cover as glorious as this one, you owe yourself to crank up the volume and join the other degenerates of the night. It will make you tremble. And it’s exactly what R.I.P. want.