obits moody, standard, and poor
  • TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2011

  • Posted by: Matt Howard

Indie rock veterans Obits continue to disregard mid-life crises with their latest release, and second full-length, Moody, Standard, and Poor. Rather than pulling a "Bowie" and camouflaging themselves in order to relate to progressive, musical ideals, they opt to reinforce their traditional meme. Their identity stems from their garage punk musical heritage. The product of disbanded groups like Pitchfork, Edsel, and Shortstack (to name a few), Obits makes another attempt at perfecting a musical movement that was established around sonic imperfection.

Obits' first album, I Blame You, was the product of a bootleg recording of their 2008, debut show at NYC's Cake Shop. Circulating the web, the rip grabbed the attention of Sub Pop. The album stood within a limbo of praise and criticism. Although they were faulted for avoiding progression, they satisfied sonic palates with their product's clear-cut rock qualities.

As expected, in Moody, Standard, and Poor, Obits display collaborative growth without escaping their habitual aesthetic. The album's tracks retain foundations of descending bass lines and speedy, persistent percussion. On the surface, are the intricately intermingled guitars of Froberg and Habibion. Rather than uncomplicated rhythm and lead, the guitarists provide individual personalities to the tracks. In addition, Froberg compliments the tunes with toned down vocals (don't worry, he still belts out here and there).

The resulting product is an Obits album that bonds garage punk to contemporary, indie rock. The rockabilly echoing strings in songs like "Beggin' Dogs" supply a tonal counterweight, preventing the tracks from losing muscular control. Froberg's refurbished vocal techniques, on all tracks, emit sonic semblance of Iggy Pop. Obits arent necessarily lyrical geniuses, but the opening of "No Fly List" is vulgarly epic.

Listening to Moody, Standard, and Poor, it's noticed that Obits aren't avoiding progression in the least. They've assisted in the evolution of their founding movement by integrating it with the latter.

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