OBNOX knows what America wants, and it’s more OBNOX. At least, that’s my reading of the situation, where I’m America. And I mean, this would have to be correct if we take America to be wanting more inventive, scuzzy, bleeding from the edges, soul infused, hip hop congested garage rock.
Maybe my perspective of America is a fantasy, but it is my perspective. And I am real.
OBNOX releases records like a demon in heat, and one of those recent full lengths is called KNOW AMERICA, out now on EVER/ NEVER. Scuzzy garage pop and rock is on the menu, hooks you can’t get out of your head, and songwriting like you haven’t heard before. Just. How. I. Like. It. There are always standouts on these song-based efforts, and this album is no exception in that regard, though it is an exception in essentially every other regard (because this Ohio hero of much in the way of breaking apart the history of rock music; Bim Thomas of Bassholes, This Moment In Black History, etc. is a living, waking exception).
“Village Idiot” is a pummeling garage pop track featuring furious drums, and a soul undercurrent that definitely reminds me of “Crosstown Traffic.” Another track which grinds deeply into my mind is “Power House,” which vibes heavily with a gospel feel, a vibe that I must admit I NEVER hear these days. Meanwhile the main vocal is presented as some kind of guttural garbage blues emission, all of it over a great rock n’ roll groove, backed up by those sweet female-ish backup vocals. And the guitar work is just filthy. OBNOX truly works with a winning combination of sounds, sounds that may not grow his fan base with every release, but sounds that are true, grimey, and with each and every new release, more exceedingly awesome, seemingly. Man has multiple releases out in 2015. Track him down.
Bim Thomas and OBNOX play Hassle Fest 7 on 11/7/15, and there are rumors that he and ONO are going to collaborate in some way. Ultra exciting.