Brooklyn-based Obits are coming at you with a new release, Moody, Standard and Poor. Obits is an indie supergroup of sorts, featuring singers/guitarists Rick Froberg (Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes) and Sohrab Habibion (Edsel).
Obits play a reverb-drenched variety of straight-forward rock that seems to borrow equally from surf and pyschadelia and, to a lesser extent, blues. After respectable careers making cacophonous punk rock, they seem to have settled into a variety of music that’s a bit more “adult” without sounding like they’ve been neutered in the process. This is no small feat; the list of artists who become casualties of old age is long and illustrious.
Their first release, I Blame You, was one of my favorite releases of 2008.
So, what of the new release? It builds on the promise of I Blame You with a more refined incarnation of similar musical ideas. They played it safe, keeping the same musical themes of the first record but upping the quality, significantly. While I Blame You has a few clunkers, this is a much more streamlined and consistent record.
I’d call it a punchy record. At certain points, it sounds more than a little like Froberg’s previous band, Hot Snakes with the distortion replaced with surf guitar.
Froberg and Habibion continue their duel-guitar love affair, with the lead and the rhythm playing off one another in an air-tight pairing. It’s not surprising they claim Television as an influence.
The rhythm section, drummer Scott Gursky and bassist Greg Simpson are tight enough to hold it together and fluid enough to keep up. This is a band that clearly works well with one another.
Really, it’s cute for me to sit here and make myself feel good by wasting your time and getting on my soapbox. The point is, Obits have done exactly what you’d want a good band to do: they got better on their own terms.