The Rockometer: Worth a Lot of Money by OBN IIIs/S/T by Snooty Garbagemen
When you trade in '70s style riff rock, like the OBN IIIs do, there's inherent risk. One hackneyed rhyme of "Rock 'N' Roll" and "soul" and all good will is lost. You get labeled as the kids who never left the Camaro and the high school parking lot, whose best and blurriest days all had two things in common: Budweiser cans and stank weed.
Watch Me: “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Chris Cornell
Up until 2 PM on Wednesday, September 23rd 2015, I had no use for Chris Cornell outside of Soundgarden. Then, I chanced upon this on Sirius XM Lithium
Play Me: “Come Back” by Deafheaven
Fuckin' brilliant, in the way bands like Mogwai and Godspeed! You Black Emperor can be fuckin' brilliant over 10 minutes, taking the listener on a ride though hills, valleys, peaks, and right off the cliff. And just when you think you know where Deafheaven are going with "Come Back," more (More horror show screams! More crescendo!) they drift off into this delicately pastoral movement, one more common to feel good folk rockers than Rock 'N' Roll behemoths. Fuckin' brilliant.
The Rockometer: Illegals in Heaven by Blank Realm
In one sense, yes, Illegals in Heaven is Blank Realm's pop record, for gradually over the course of their career, the Brisbane art-punks have moved from outsider noise rock aiming to please the curators of all things obscure to easily identifiable song structures with shorter run times and predictable melodies. Yet, while continually making strides towards accessibility, the band still enjoy playfully fucking with everything they record by placing track upon track of melody, counter melody and white noise upon those simple songs.
Play Me: “See Me” by Obnox
Now, here's a face I never thought I'd see on the NPR website. Hillary? Sure. The Donald? Yes. Kim Davis? For fucks sake, I wish it wasn't so. But Obnox, Cleveland's own, Lamont "Bim" Thomas? As much as his profile has been steadily rising with each successive release of forward-thinking, punk'n'rap'n'soul albums, or trunk punk, as he calls it, I never considered the possiblity of Bim on NPR
Watch Me: “Life Like This” by Kurt Vile
Kurt Vile, has long been known as a rambling blues man whose complex, dreamlike melodies fuck with long-standing norms of the genre. But, did you know Kurt Vile is also a piano man? On "Like Like This," the latest preview from his forthcoming Matador album, Vile augments that wandering guitar style of his, not with more guitar and more feedback, but with a persistent piano loop giving, this otherwise rootsy track a sly modern feel.