After two albums where the lines between rock and hip-hop became increasing blurred, Obnox offers up something different as a first taste from his second album of 2015: a rocker, no slashes, no dashes, just a rocker. “Menocause,” taken from the forthcoming Know America on Ever/Never Records features a classic, mid-tempo, rock beat with an ample helping of the trademark Obnox guitar squelch and a little bit of soul. It may not be the jam to unite the rockers and the hip-hop heads, but it nonetheless showcases why the prolific, Lamont “Bim” Thomas is a real force in the rock underground.

This ain’t no Pixies, alt-rock nostalgia grab. This is the Blues Explosion, still a force almost 20 years after their initial brush with fame. And as the gritty swagger of “Betty vs The NYPD,” from their new album Freedom Tower – No Wave Dance Party, playfully suggests, they ain’t planning on going away any time soon.

Simple, fun garage-punk never goes out of style, at least it doesn’t around these parts. Flesh Lights’ self-titled album on 12XU has the distinction of being the most rocked album of 2014 not to get a single mention here, at I Rock Cleveland. Wrong, righted. Should you find yourself nodding along, or thrashing your air guitar like no one is watching to “Free Yourself,” know that the entire album follows in the same vein. It’s like that Gentleman Jesse debut a few years back, in that in an alternate universe where rock still rules the air waves this thing could have had five or six xingles.