Russian Blood from Boston

When you hear or read somewhere that an artist recorded his album in his bedroom, you’re probably thinking his songs are “chill-wave,” “lo-fi,” “dreamy,” or something along those lines. RIBS frontman Keith Freund recorded his band’s sophomore EP Russian Blood in his bedroom, but the EP itself sounds like it was produced for a much bigger space, like a ginormous concert hall, or the moon.

According to the band’s local publication The Boston Phoenix, RIBS (the band’s name should be spelled with capital letters only) is “rock’s great new hope.” Music nerds have read the quote everywhere, but what does it mean? Well, it means that the rock age isn’t over yet, and with the existence of a band like RIBS, rock can indeed make its comeback, past today’s hyped indie stardust and “bedroom” tunes. (Keep in mind, though, that by all technical definitions, the band is indie: They are unsigned, self-managed, self-produced.)

RIBS is Keith Freund, Blake Fusilier, Justin Tolan, and Chris Oquist. The four Bostonians have been playing music together for a few years now, having released their first EP, British Brains, in the summer of 2008. The release triggered a bit of social media magic, striking big on the platform Reddit, where users deemed the EP as “fucking awesome,” and “what commercial radio music should be if anyone really gave a shit.”

Considering the band’s public success with British Brains, it was clear that Russian Blood would be a tricky follow-up with lofty expectations.

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