‘Obits have made as many records as Hot Snakes and one more than Jehu, but it’s only now they seem to be fully hitting their stride‘ – Dudley Colley checks out Obits‘ Bed & Bugs.
Rick Froberg and his snarl have been party to some of the finest guitar driven riffage of all time alongside John Reiss/ Speedo in both Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes where Reiss gave full force to some genuinely ground breaking music that few if any of his peers have equalled. So for Froberg to step out from such a colossal shadow and try to mould an identity for himself can only have been intimidating. Either that or he just fancied rocking out with his pals for a laugh.
And that was definitely evident in the first two Obits LPs, which were grand an’ all, but certainly worked in a solidly one dimensional pattern. It was R’n’B and bar-roomy with touches of the Wipers and the Sonics, but they certainly weren’t eviscerating new musical ground like his previous work with Reiss.
Bed and Bugs is evidence of a sea change. Right from the opening chords of ‘Taste the diff‘ things seem different and far more interesting. It’s taut, wiry, brighter and full of energy. The songs are no longer than on the previous records, but seem to find time to explore and expand in far more interesting shapes than before. Obits have made as many records as Hot Snakes and one more than Jehu, but it’s only now they seem to be fully hitting their stride. They’ve finally found their special purpose…
Oh yer, and the vinyl is only GORGEOUS, do get.