Apr 8, 2015

OBNOX "Boogalou Reed" LP and Blaxxx "For No Apparent Reason" 12inch EP

Obnox photo by Dale Merrill
     "So how ya doing?"
     That was a questioned posed at the party at the Smashin' Transistors commorancy to Obnox's Lamont "Bim" Thomas following the gig they played here in town last summer concerning the rave reviews the band's records had been getting.
     "You mean am I getting rich?" Lamont laughed then added "I'm just trying to get as much music out there as I can before I die."
     With a couple decades of making music with a bunch of different combos under his belt such as the Bassholes and the Puffy Areolas one may figure he's already achieved leaving an indelible mark on the punk rock scene but with him being in the drivers seat with Obnox he's making sure of it.
     Like the two full lengths that have preceded it, Boogalou Reed, the first of three 'Nox albums planned for 2015 (and who knows how many EP's and singles along the way) is bursting at the seams with tumult but also again manages to cover different ground instead throwing rocks through windows of the same places over and over again.
     Rolling in like a venomous sludge, the album opens with "Wonder Weed." The song's (credited to Stevie Wonder but unknown to this writer where it has appeared on any of his records) caterpillar that weighs a ton guitar crawl and cosmic organ that obscure Bim's voice in the mix act as an roller ascending effect for the album. Slowly leading the head to the top of a peak and building anticipation for slamming on the g-forces and whatever unexpected twist and turn that are to follow.
      Equipped with a super rock riff that's made air guitar thrashing and beat swings jazz cat showing every hardcore rat-ta-tat-tat drummer what's up those g-forces first kick in on the next track "Cynthia Piper At The Gates Of Dawn." Fifties rock gets spun in to a dizzying three chord blur on the celebration of Saturday Night (and perhaps jab at the squares that don't "get" what Obnox is getting at) "Too Punk Shakur."
     While the album is full of plaster cracking action like hesher rockin' and name droppin' Johnny Cash & Jimi Hendrix jam "Slaughter Culture", the warp speed space truckin' with no seat belts on rides of "Marinol", "I Climbed A Mountain" and "Protopipe", the fist in the air ode to the ones with good taste on the decks "All Hail the DJ" and a cover of CSN&Y's "Ohio" who's torrential downpour of guitar noise conveys a sense of unrest and disorientation that Neil Young was probably attempting to get across but them damn hippies he was working with were just to mellow, the album is not all about getting the feeling of plummeting into the earth at 90 miles per hour.
     The album's title track takes trip-hop on a whole trip with a washes of feedback and reverb, a tumbling rhythm that has a bass drum and snare that thumps at the temples and Bim singing like he's kicked back on a big red velvet couch. Along the same lines is the shoegazing if pasty Brits had better hip-hop beats "Empire." The centerpiece of the tracks that have that sorta vibe going on though is "Situation". Intergalactic funk finds a cloud (consisting of sativa smoke, of course) to float on while wiggly guitars squiggle groovy squawks that would have Ernie Isley nodding in approval and a  psychotropic beat reverberates the room.  

     While down Texas way to play at 2014's SXSW, Lamont found a diversion to keep his needing to make up a new song mid occupied when not playing on stage. Making contact with OBN III's Tom Triplett and Orville Neeley, the trio went ended up in Neeley's practice spot where there was a "four-track up and gear in place, not to mention a gang of joints and a bottle of Wild Turkey."
     With Lamont behind the kit and a mic in his face and Tom and Orville armed with guitars to split skulls open, the trio crank out four massive blocks of pinned in the red noise. Opening track "Blaxxx" rumbles and roars in a way to make sure everything is on its way to be reduced to rubble and "Cut 'Em Down" sounds like Blue Cheer and Funkadelic dueling each other in a garage disposal. Side two starts with Lamont giving a quick sermon about the bullshit music business before the band fires up sonic bulldozers to slowly plow such bullshit. "Get A Hold Of Your Life" serves up finishing moves that makes the Stooges Metallica KO sound like Frampton's Comes Alive in the best, most funked out punk rock way possible.
12xu.net

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