Dry Rib “Whose Last Trickle 78-82”, 2008
Around twenty years back me a friend and I taped some songs using the lyrics of some of our favorite metal bands. We played using an out of tune acoustic guitar and drumsticks hitting carpet plus my terrible vocals. If I remember rightly we let my friend’s sister hear the tape before deciding we’d leave music to people who could actually play. Three months of drumming lessons and no drum set with a guitar player who couldn’t play a note despite an obsession with alcohol and heavy metal doesn’t make for great listening. We did what every incredibly untalented band should do, destroyed our recording and unofficially broke up within hours. Dry Rib, it would seem, were slightly better than we were but not by much. From what I gather, from the long-winded liner notes this disc is a collection of all DRY RIB’s recorded material from between 78 and 82. They had a guitarist who can play a little and a drummer who seemed to be the talented by being the least musically annoying member of the band. The first song, “Quail Seed” is a bouncy little number sounds like something that couldn’t quite make the cut for the “Urgh. A Music War” UK post-punk compilation album.
The rest just comes off as the worst of the stuff Flying Nun records were getting rave reviews about in both the NME and Forced Exposure a few years after the initial release of this material. Chris Knox’s solo output would be the best comparison except for the fact that he actually has some worthwhile songs. It’s jangly indie music with a guitarist and vocalist, who can’t really carry a tune so they improvise. There are fleeting moments where they get it right but it’s usually not in unison.
Imagine mad English punk poet JOHN COOPER CLARKE performing after swallowing a tube of sleeping pills and that’s what the vocals and lyrics of DRY RIB are like. There are twenty songs worth of material but it’s the same endurance test that a lot of bands in my hometown in New Zealand offered when they played live. See, I grew up in a student town and there were a lot of short-lived bands that also considered themselves clever doing this style. This sort of stuff was generally lapped up and played by cardigan wearing arts degree students. Probably still is. The local liquor selling music venues loved these types of bands because the audience would drink beer in hope that alcohol enhancement would make the band more enjoyable. The worse that the band was, the higher the bar takings were. DRY RIB probably sold quite a few breweries. Re-releasing this material as EP’s would have been a better move on the record label’s part and also made for less unenjoyable listening. As it is, this 20 song anthological yawnfest could be administered as an anesthetic.
Dry Rib site