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
Play Me: “Look to the Sun” by Obnox
Bim don't quit. Clevelander, Lamont "Bim" Thomas writes, records, and tours as Obnox as often as other musicians tweet their lamebrain opinions on shit they don't know shit about, which is all the damn time. 2015 has already seen to Obnox albums: Boogalou Reed and Know America, and today, we get the first taste of Bim's third release of 2015 in the form of "Look to the Sun" from Wiglet, due out later this year on Ever/Never. This one is a slow, purposeful crusher with deliberate, doom metal guitars rendered in static, and vocals, half spoken and half sung, blurred by the rumble. It's not a happy song, in the least, but damn am I happy Bim keeps doing his thing.
New Jam City: New Jams by Fuzz, Kurt Vile, and Archie & The Bunkers
Not to be confused with The Ty Segall Band, Fuzz is that other band from the prolific, left-coast garage rocker, Ty Segall. And like Fuzz's 2013 release, "Rat Race" and "Pollinate" from Fuzz's forthcoming, In the Red Records release on 10.23, both feature that smoked out, heavy duty blues sound your longhaired uncle dropped out to in 1973.
Jam On It: New Jams by Uniform, Chomp, Institute, Spray Paint, and Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires
niform's "Perfect World" is not what you'd expect from a new project featuring Ben Greenberg, last heard in The Men. With each successive release, The Men have become more classic rock than punk rock or noise rock. Uniform on the other hand, are capital noise with a little rock thrown in.
The Rockometer: Boogalou Reed by Obnox
It's not just the whole damn country that's about to blow up, with his third long player in less than three years, Lamont "Bim" Thomas is due to blow up, too. For more than any other Obnox record, Boogalou Reed, showcases Thomas' unique ability to blur the lines between punk rock, hip-hop, and experimental sounds. There are no beat-based joints, or punk rock ragers, or improv head fucks. Instead, there are Obnox songs, fifteen of them, to be precise, and each one gives the listener a slightly different perspective into the mind of Thomas, on this, the outlaw rockers' most poignant work to date.
Play Me: “Slaughter Culture” by Obnox
Cleveland's Lamont Bim Thomas may not have the name recognition and critical attention of Toronto's Fucked Up, and he may not have the gift of self promotion, like Sacramento instigators, Death Grips, but along with those two artists, Thomas' Obnox has been at the forefront of 21st Century punk movement. More impressively, Thomas continues on his winning streak of 2013's Corrupt Free Enterprise and 2014's Louder Space without sacrificing any quality. If anything, the first few listens to the soon-to-be-released Boogalou Reed (1.27 on 12XU) have revealed a band just hitting its stride.
Play Me: “Hollywood High” By Mike Hudson and the Pagans
Any Cleveland rocker worth their salt knows about the town's importance in the birth of American punk rock. Names like Pere Ubu, Rocket From the Tombs, and The Dead Boys are passed down from generation to generation with the type of reverence conservative politicians pay to our nation's founding fathers. Dig deeper, and you'll quickly find there's more to Cleveland's punk legacy than the big three. electric eels, Mirrors, and The Pagans should all be required listening, too.
Play Me: “Rise and Shine” by mr. Gnome
While not quite the epic noise Cleveland art-rock duo, mr. Gnome are known for, new single "Rise and Shine," from the band's forthcoming album Heart of a Dark Star (11.18 on El Marko), isn't your standard garage rock stomper, either. By taking what they do best, i.e., rousing up a righteous wall of sound, and applying that knowledge to a down home melody, they've provided a convenient entry point for those who've slept on their career output to date.