Obits - Moody, Standard and Poor - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Obits - Moody, Standard and Poor

by Andy Brown Rating:7 Release Date:2011-04-04

Moody, Standard and Poor is the second album from Rick Froberg's Obits, the long overdue follow up to 2009's debut I Blame You. If you're not familiar with Obits you might have heard Froberg's last band, the insanely brilliant Hot Snakes. Hot Snakes other star member was John Reis, AKA Speedo from Rocket from the Crypt. Like Speedo, Froberg is something of a punk 'n' roll veteran.

The album starts with a bang with the explosive 'You Gotta Lose' proving that Froberg has no plans to slow down yet. It's perhaps slightly less frantic than Hot Snakes at their peak (2002 album Suicide Invoice) but no less exciting. 'Everything Looks Better in the Sun' balances Froberg's ear for a tune with his twisted guitar work perfectly as it propels itself through just over three minutes of surf indebted garage rock. Moody, Standard and Poor is an energetic yet melodic album which frequently recalls the impassioned punk rock of Greg Sages' Wipers. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a good thing. Obits aren't planning on disappointing anyone.

It's fair to say that Froberg doesn't sound like a 43-year-old as he howls, "Killer, killer, never, never again!" on the adrenaline fuelled 'Killer'. Obits put many bands half their age to shame. The fuzzy, strutting rock 'n' roll of ' Shift Operator' is a definite album highpoint as Froberg deadpans, "You don't want solutions, you just want a way out". While there's nothing quite as thrilling as Hot Snakes favourites 'I Hate the Kids' and 'Who Died', Froberg's songs remain ceaslessly energetic.

The album doesn't take itself too seriously either; just listen to the catchy 'Naked to the World'. This is the kind of punk 'n' roll party music that bands like The Murder City Devils and the aforementioned Rocket from the Crypt used to give us, not the angry/political punk rock of Blag Flag et al. There's not a huge amount of musical variety on the album but perhaps that's missing the point, this is 35 minutes of reckless, rock 'n' roll abandon.

The band is on fine form with every performance sounding like a live track, minus the poor sound quality and audience cheers. Scott Gurskys' drums and Greg Simpsons' bass keep the energy levels high as Froberg and Sohrab Habibion's guitars squall, strut and explode. You can almost smell the sweat. The album closes with instrumental track 'I Blame Myself' which is part psych-rock and part Andy Gill (Gang of Four) indebted noise. Perhaps a sign of things to come?

What the album lacks in innovation it more than makes up for in sheer quality. If you like yr rock 'n' roll with a healthy dose of punk rock than you're gonna enjoy Obits. Much like Speedo, Froberg knows what he's doing when it comes to rock 'n' roll. You're in safe hands.

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