feat. RICK FROBERG (Voice of HOT SNAKES)
You have questions about Obits. This is understandable. They’re an intriguing band. For starters, you ask, “Are Obits ‘indie rock veterans’?” The answer is: yes and no. Yes, they are accomplished musicians who once fronted Drive Like Jehu, Edsel, Hot Snakes, and Pitchfork. But also; No, they are not active or retired members of the United States military. They are not veterans in that sense. It’s good to get these things sorted out. Don’t worry—there are no dumb questions.
What, you ask, of Obits’ new record? Well, for starters, it’s their second full-length, and it’s called Moody, Standard and Poor. It was recorded at Brooklyn’s Saltlands Studio by Eli Janney and Geoff Sanoff. Sub Pop will release it on March 29, 2011. This concerns you. Isn’t that Vangelis’s birthday? To be perfectly honest, it is. This was a scheduling snafu, plain and simple. There’s nothing to be done about it now.
Will this be a “yelly” record? No, it will not. Rick Froberg doesn’t yell any more. It makes him uncomfortable. Hurts his throat. He’s not going to do it. Unless he sees a fire in the engineer’s booth, or a crazy man with a knife hiding behind one of the amps. And even then, it’s doubtful that Rick’s yelling would make it onto tape.
Is there a tradeoff for Rick not yelling? Absolutely. Obits’ music is more stripped down than any of Froberg’s previous bands. As chief songwriter, he spares the overdubs and spoils the open chords. Sonically, it’s an intimate sound, borderline chummy. It’s like you’re hanging out with them at practice. Only you’re not actually, physically, hanging out with them at practice, so you won’t be made to feel rude.
So how will Moody, Standard and Poor make you feel? The short answer is: great. Not Smoking-An-Eightball-Of-Coke great. But Alive-To-New-Listening-Experiences great. This intrigues you. I can see it on your face. You’re thinking, “What about the long answer?”
The long answer is that these twelve songs will take you on a series of emotional road trips. Some will be as brief as a walk to the fridge. Others will be epic pilgrimages to the shady hinterlands of your subconscious. Great records can do this. Moody, Standard and Poor is no exception.
I’m glad we had this talk!