R.I.P.’s début In the Wind (RidingEasy) is, quite simply, a grimy middle finger to the heavier cadre of bands that take themselves and their image a bit too seriously. Dripping with reverb and cavernous echoes, the album may very well have been recorded not in the wind, but in a dark, dank basement obscured in thick, pungent smoke. Peeling walls decorated with black light posters. Lava lamps and ashtrays scattered about on a carpet sporting thirty-one flavors of stains.
Jamming a sludgy style of groove that conjures up sonic imagery of Pentagram, Cathedral, High on Fire, Kyng, a relatively unknown Birmingham group called something Sabbath, and even the “death n’ roll” swing of mid-nineties Entombed, R.I.P. seem to care more about making your head bob than making sure the vocals are in key.
Instrumental opener ‘The Scythe’ sets this tone immediately and carries it through to the final coffin nail of “In the Wind Pt 3.” No frills, no fancy rock stylings. Just kickass riffs and a driving force that will make you feel like you’re being run over by the devil’s own personal fleet of Harley Davidson’s. The band calls it “street doom,” insisting that “doom” is less about the speed of your music and more about your obsession with things like death, blood, and leather.
The label fits, as does the almost juvenile rendering of the Grim Reaper and a nude female cohort on the album sleeve. A possible throwback to those old Dungeons & Dragons guidebooks? You be the judge. (And don’t lie; you had them too.)
R.I.P. is the type of band you want to see live in a garage, surrounded by greasy-haired friends, all of you sporting brilliantly designed t-shirts depicting the Grim Reaper with his tongue in between the breasts of a naked Bride of Frankenstein.
While the album does feel a bit “samey” at times, this almost works to its charm. In The Wind is fun and dirty, and should come packaged with rolling papers and a coupon to the discount liquor store down the street.