Tarantino, Eat Your Heart Out
Imagine one giant flea market where the vendors are every musical act of the last fifty years. Instead of the usual flea market fare of VHS tapes, desiccated re-curve bows, and porcelain lawn jockeys, the vendors are selling parts of their sound and style. Most of us would probably end up hemming and hawing about whether to spend our whole wad on either Robert Plant’s range or Eddie Van Halen’s finger tap technique. Obits, Brooklyn’s new power trio, seem to take the opposite tack in this situation: buying a bunch of bargain items from bands fallen by the wayside and trying to put the pieces together later. Somehow, inexplicably, their disparate styles manage to come together nicely in the form of their latest album, Moody, Standard and Poor.
If we’ve learned anything from hipster couture it’s this: it’s not what you have on, but how you rep it. In Obits’ case, it’s not who they sound like as much as what they’re doing with their influences. Like Little Jack Horner before them, Obits has managed to get their fingers into nearly every musical pie, pulling from each a tasty, sonic plum. While they do have a sound that harkens memories of truly awful bands like Jet and Louis XIV, they’ve managed to take those bands’ sonic lead and turn it into post-punk gold. They even channel the sounds of Brooklyn contemporaries like Endless Boogie and the Dirty Projectors.
While slightly less ambitious than Obits’ previous album, Moody, Standard and Poor is much more cohesive than their previous endeavors, and subsequently rocks harder. While songs still tend to come in just under the three-minute mark, Obits lets their compositions breathe a little bit more than on 2009’s I Blame You. Instead of relying on your typical punk rock chug-along, Obits instead returns to the expansive psych-rock of Piper at the Gates of Dawn-era Pink Floyd. The result: an album that at once sounds like one large homage while producing something uniquely contemporary.
In short, Moody, Standard, and Poor is an album that’ll initially turn you off, but after a few listens, you realized it’s grown on you.