It should be said up front that the Ribeye Brothers specialize in tales of rejection, recidivism and raw ruin. Their CDs are sales-pitched as “the latest self-deprecating offering from the band who hates themselves more than you do,” and carry titles like “Swagger Turns to Stagger,” “Come In Last,” “Far Side of a Bad Thing” and “Disappointment Punch.” Even their well-curated covers by ’60s signifiers like the 13th Floor Elevators and Syd Barrett’s original the Pink Floyd skew along the lines of “boy loses girl, gets bitter as all Angostura.”
But a Ribeyes summertime show is a guaranteed and garage-tested good time, even if it’s also, as redbankgreen has said before, “the most raucously pounding pity party (with free admission, yet) you’ll ever encounter on the fringes of a public parking lot.” And when the Red Bank-based quintet makes a long-overdue return to the Dublin House Pub) this Sunday, it will represent both the rekindling of a hallowed holiday-weekend tradition and a reacquainting that’s packed with new tunes and some potentially pleasant surprises.
The Capistrano-style homecoming caps a “summer tour” that found the Ribeyes focusing on such Asbury Park haunts as Anchor’s Bend, the Asbury Hotel, AP Yacht Club and the Saint — a reaffirmation of roots for the band that began as a two-hander project for a couple of onetime bandmates from borough-based bullgod rockers Monster Magnet: Jack’s Music manager (and original frontman) Tim Cronin, and ex-drummer turned guitarist and songwriter Jon Kleiman.
Working a crossroads cranny of low-fi ’60s stomp, Beatles apocrypha, hillbilly blues and other points far afield from Magnet mastermind Dave Wyndorf’s space-rock sector, the Sons of Mrs. Ribeye soon staked out a signature brand of “detached garage” that balanced Cronin-Kleiman’s bitterly funny bagatelles with the seriously savvy sensibility of walking-encyclopedia record hounds.
Along the way, the founding twosome picked up a third veteran Magneteer (bassist Joe Calandra), along with a personnel parade that eventually settled into the able additions of marshmallow-biking guitar ace Brent Sisk and drummer-DJ Neil “Foggy Notion” O’Brien. It’s this roster that’s seen the Ribeye Brothers transition from jokey side gig to become — while still sardonically funny, and never exactly a license to print money — a cult-fave band with a devoted fanbase, several studio albums (including Call of the Scrapheap and New Ways to Fail) and numerous appearances on split singles, compilations and tributes.
The realities of the ever-lucrative music business being what they are, it’s the Monmouth County audience that gets to claim the lion’s share of opportunities for enjoying live shows by the Ribeye Brothers, a series of occurrences that often spotlight workshops of new material (or chop-shop reworks of things like Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”). Promised for this Sunday is an early set (with former member Matt Forman sitting in) that looks to evoke the “country-ish” vibe of the band’s acoustic radio-concert recording All Hat and No Cattle. It’s followed by a second set of prime Ribeye cuts highlighting “our usual arena rock stylings” — and according to historical precedent established by the band’s plein-air priors at the Dub, it should stand as a solid send-off to the superheated heart of the season: a real community get-together for discerning listeners and other lovers of “Local Summer.”
Two shows, beginning at 7 p.m. are slated for the Dub’s Temple Bar, the playpen courtyard out back of the Monmouth Street eatery.