Monday, March 28, 2011

OBN III's on Super Secret Records

This single came in from Super Secret Records the other day, a new band out of SS's hometown, Austin, the OBN III's, who are probably still exhausted from the massive band endurance project that is SXSW. Hopefully they had a hometown advantage so while everyone was getting trampled by horse cops, they were reminding jaded tastemakers the reasons why anyone even comes to a live show, because the band is playing awesome music.
The A-Side 'No way to rock and roll' is introduced by Orville...out of the scratchy silence, just him on a mic: 'Alright - this is no way to Rock and Roll' and the song takes off in spot on Stooges, Kinks style. Like the caveman rock of The Troggs, the craft is completely secondary, not in a bad way, they are solid enough musicians, but they drive this track forward by sheer enthusiasm, the mic levels aren't checked, it's bleeding into the red. No one is worried about Orville getting too close to the mic, there's no wussy popscreen...because this was the best take, completely live. It's the sound of a band for god sakes, not the silence of layers of digital tracks, not the artificial addition of texture or hiss, it's all natural, blues influenced, of course, rock. Stripped down, the informal, improv delivery, make this one completely hear it with Ty Segall, Jeff Novak, Home Blitz, it's like there's nothing else they can or want to be doing. Sheer will power is going to get these guys out there, and this single is a really impressive first impression. Definitely thanks to Orville's talky, Iggy delivery and attitude, 'Oh Yea, I really care about your record label...nobody gives a shit! Nobody gives a shit!', in pure disgust. This really hits home in the context of SXSW. I'm sure bands are out there busting their ass, but in that scene it's all under the umbrella of label showcases and hype...what do I know, I just read the tweets, but it seems like it can be just as much about a madhouse of missed opportunities, networking and everything except the music.
The OBN III's are playing with the rock that led to punk, new wave...the things the Stones, or the Sonics had that's still important, obviously when you hear it reinterpreted like this. What truly raw garage band doesn't end up getting all meta and singing about rock and roll itself? Always the good ones, it's simultaneously a driving force of primal rock while condemning the excess bullshit that surrounds the music, dragging it down. Genius.

The B-Side, 'Got more Love' gets even closer to that dirty garage blues. Really caveman pounding....kick tom crash, kick tom crash, with a little bit of infinity echo psyche knobs turned on the vocals. Like the Soft Pack, Orville could match Matt in that balance of nihilist attitude and energy. They both take this historic rock and completely let it loose in a contemporary way, now it isn't burdened by being new and something trendy, it's almost antique. The really good antique that they can't make anymore because everything is cheaper mass produced and I buy art to hang on my walls at Target. OBNIII's don't settle for that...anyone buying singles doesn't settle for that...this is a perfect combination.
Two tracks of blinder driven roots garage rock. Impressive, authentic Dirty, scuzzy, rough amazing effort on both sides. Get it from Super Secret Records, 200 black, 100 color with a no-fi handpainted looking sleeve.

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