Obits CD reviewed by Brett Horn

Music Reviews
Obits CD reviewed by Brett Horn
Mar 23, 2009, 03:39

Obits - I Blame You


While I'm a big fan of Rick Froberg's previous bands Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes, it's tempting to dismiss the debut of his new band, Obits, as a possibly enjoyable but unnecessary appendix to those bands' legacies. There's no huge change in sound, Froberg's unmistakable scraggly caterwaul remains front and center, and the commitment to straight-ahead rock is firmly in place. Right up the alley of existing fans, but given that his previous bands were fairly prolific, does the world need another installment? Well, yes and no. The above criticism is somewhat undeniable, but the iteration of established traditions with some tweaks is the foundation of musical progression. And there are some notable differences in the changeover to Obits. The overall sound is more slippery and rubbery, especially compared to the pummeling of Drive Like Jehu, and melody gets more attention. The step back towards a poppier sound is the main step forward here, and the execution is excellent. I can't recall ever finding myself humming to Froberg's previous output, and this album contains some undeniable hooks. That's not to say Froberg's gone soft, most of the songs are undeniably hard-edged, but allowing some light into the mix is a move that largely pays off. Summing up, while I Blame You is hardly essential, fans of Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes won't be disappointed, and Froberg has shown that he has at least a couple tricks up his sleeve. [Sub Pop]

-Brett Horn


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