Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Obits Ramp Moody, Standard And Poor

The ObitsComing together in Brooklyn following the breakup of Hot Snakes in 2006, singer/songwriter Rick Froberg, drummer Scott Gursky, and guitarist Sohrab Habibion had something pleasantly addictive right out of the gate. Add in bassist Greg Simpson for their 2008 debut and there isn't any wonder why Sub Pop snapped them up.

The bootleg recording that leaked from the Cake Shop on New York's Lower East Side underscored the urgency of the garage punk indie rockers who were both veterans and reinvented into something new. The Obits' new album — Moody, Standard And Poor — is everything you want in stripped down, sometimes surf-infused and stirring indie.

Moody, Standard And Poor drifts, seethes, and whirls.

Recorded at Brooklyn’s Saltlands Studio by Eli Janney and Geoff Sanoff, the sophomore record is a bit more restrained than the debut but with no less bite. Sub Pop mused that Froberg doesn't like to yell anymore because it hurts his throat and makes him feel uncomfortable. That is not to mean Froberg isn't excitable.

The 12-track lineup opens with You Gotta Lose and has enough angst to garner attention. It sets the tone. And although there isn't a theme behind the record, Froberg did tell Vish Khanna that there is some semblance of powerlessness throughout.

"The margins have narrowed, generally, but I don't think 'marginalization' is the right word," he said. "There's a certain poverty of inspiration and energy and things are going to shit. It's really hard to explain what I mean. If I was better at it, I'd do a speaking tour or something."

Or maybe, who knows, he would sing upside down while wearing paper eyeballs on his chin. Oh wait, that was for the last album.

While we're still waiting for the new video installation (check out You Gotta Lose, live), Pine On remains a classic ultra-low budget video like only Sub Pop can present. This time around, the Obits patiently deliver a double guitar attack with more sharpness and technical skill.

It's difficult to pick a starting place. Killer, Beggin' Dogs, Naked To The World, and No Fly List are all worthy for their exquisite driving guitars and relentlessness. And then there are New August, Standards, and Shift Operator, which have a different vibe with Habibion picking up the vocals on the latter two.

I Blame Myself is an especially trippy, mood-setting instrumental that flows along for three minutes and wraps the album. But if I had to pick a favorite, Everything Looks Better In The Sun is one of those songs that just sounds better with every play. Play it loud. It never gets old.

Moody, Standard And Poor By The Obits Revolves Around 6.7 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

Froberg says that the band is still too new to tell if this is the one he wants to grow old into the music. We think it might be. The band is currently touring the U. S. Midwest and East Coast. In May, they head off to Europe, playing Belgium, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Moody, Standard And Poor by The Obits is ready to download on iTunes. Moody, Standard & Poor is also available on Amazon and on CD from Barnes & Noble.
blog comments powered by Disqus