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The Fibs

The Fibs
(Dreamy Life Records)
Release Date: September 28, 2018
Add Date: SEPTEMBER 18, 2018

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Tall, dark, and elusive, the crooning baritone of Fibs’ frontman Preston Newberry bellows like smoke hanging above a frigid night sky in some old, broken-down industrial side of town; rising like steam from dripping gutters bathing in shadows cast by abandoned yet indifferent stacks of brutalist brick.

“Cut off my hands/ so I won’t write this song / Tell me what you like / and I’ll tell you how you’re wrong.”
So goes “Cut Hands,” the second track from the self-titled, sophomore album by this Fort Worth, TX based dark-wave quartet.

The Fibs are singer-guitarist Preston Newberry, guitarist Joel Raif, bassist Jen Rux and drummer Robby Rux.

Fans of the band’s dark, demented, and more notably lo-fi 2014 debut, Hex Hex Hex, will notice a slicker analog production style, along with brighter, poppier moments sprinkled throughout the record, such as on the surfy, doo-wop inspired tone of the album’s penultimate track “Sapphire Eyes”.

Like Hex Hex Hex, The Fibs was produced by Robby and Jen Rux (Year of the Bear, Dreamy Soundz), only this time they came in as full blown members of the band, collaborating on the compositions as well as production.

The album opens with a shrill cry, reminiscent of grinding steel, on “Waiting for a Train,” a song that echoes themes of socially appointed culpability derived from Goethe’s classic tragedy Faust.

“Of course I’m on / much like electricity / I see you moving rook and pawn / could it be you’re on to me?”

These 10 songs that comprise The Fibs are lush and broody, with thoughtful arrangements that get delightfully noisy at all the right moments. The rhythm section pulses like some unholy machine while the guitars shriek and strut over the beat like a phantom train bound for Hell. Comparisons could easily be drawn to new wave heavyweights like Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division and Bauhaus or even more nuanced underground groups such as Cleaners from Venus, but Fibs’ leader Preston Newberry scoffs that such comparisons are a distraction.

Preferring to keep his content coded and complex, Newberry shies away from any notion of direct influence beyond offering that he was reading a lot of poetry from Spanish poet and playwright, Federico García Lorca, during the writing process. He suggests instead that ideas in art and music work their way into the culture in a much more inherent and subconscious sphere, one in which drawing comparisons may prove counterintuitive to comprehension. Or, in other words: Ditch the scale and dig the weight.

Beginning in August of 2018 The Fibs will be touring all over the continental United States in support of their new album. Catch them in a city near you.


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Photos: Amy Tate


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