An 11-year hiatus hasn't dimmed Rainer Maria's ferocity as performers, though enough water has passed under their collective bridges to temper the former emo stalwarts' worldview. Having amassed a devoted following that helped propel them to legitimate indie success in their first decade, the New York-via-Madison trio called it quits at the end of 2006 while still at the top of their game. In the ensuing decade, singer/bassist Caithlin De Marrais moved to the country and began a solo career, drummer William Kuehn spent time living and studying music in the Middle East, and guitarist/singer Kaia Fischer studied Buddhism in Tibet and came out as a trans person. Eventually the three friends found themselves back in New York reflecting on their significant life changes and tossing around the idea of writing some new music together. Buoyed by the success of a string of reunion shows, they slowly put together the nine songs featured on 2017's S/T, a robust set that pairs muscular indie rock with well-marinated introspections. Recorded in Brooklyn and produced by Kuehn, S/T very naturally manages to pick up the band's narrative and move it forward without spending much breath on the intervening gap. In spite of -- or perhaps because of -- their minimalist setup, Rainer Maria have always managed to generate a lot of noise, and with S/T they've delivered a hulking brick of indie rock that manages to feel both heavy and spacious. From the fiery punk of standout "Lower Worlds" to the haunted "Ornaments of Empty," Rainer Maria sound confident and on point, putting their changed selves into the task of deepening their already rich catalog with this comeback gem.