When I cook spare ribs, there are some ever-presents in the marinade - oil, salt, pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, smoked garlic granules, thyme, vinegar and something sweet (sugar, honey, maple syrup). What I add to that is down to the whim of the moment - or what's in the cupboard.
The sauce is 2 parts fruit (ketchup, brown sauce, kicap manis etc), 2 parts sweet (sugar, honey, maple syrup) to one part savoury (soy sauce, Worcester sauce, Henderson's Relish). Mix it up 'til it's all the same colour, stick your finger in and taste, then add whatever you think it needs, which may be chilli, or vinegar, or more ketchup etc.
I cook the ribs in the slow cooker for at least 3 hours, then move them to a baking tray to let them dry for about 10 minutes before covering them with the sauce and finishing them in the regular oven at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes, then turning them over, applying the remainder of the sauce and giving them another 10 minutes. This gives them the stickiness that requires you to take a shower after eating them. Which is as it should be.