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Artist: OBNOX
Title: Know America
Format: LP
Label: Ever/Never
Country: USA
Price: $15.00
"Coming at you direct from Cleveland, Ohio, Lamont “Bim” Thomas has transitioned seamlessly from journeyman sticksman in some of the states finest bands (This Moment In Black History, Unholy Two, Puffy Areolas, Bassholes, etc.) to the full-on phenomenon known as Obnox. From a foundation of dirt-level garage punk, Thomas sculpts deep cuts out of blown-out beats, redline guitar damage, and soulful singing, as if your local gospel choir had been raised on a steady diet of The Pagans and Back From the Grave comps. Incredibly, Know America -- Obnoxs fifth full-length -- is the second of three albums to come out in 2015. In addition, Know America is the first of two albums this year on NYC label-to-watch Ever/Never Records. Part of an ambitious Ever/Never 2015 release schedule, Know America secures Obnoxs top ranking amongst the creme de la creme of the worldwide underground.
Know America is a loose concept album, something like Thomas deep soul take on Pump Up The Volume or Airheads. Right at the start, on “Signal Takeover,” Obnox is hijacking the radio waves. A DJ that sounds suspiciously like Thomas, let us know that we are tuned to “Radio 420 WEDE” and that we better prepare for some “trunk punk.” In case you havent picked up what hes laying down, Thomas informs you that the LP you just slapped on your turntable is “reefer on wax.”
The beat-driven “Grease” is a statement of purpose -- a manifesto of sorts -- as Thomas sings “This is the party where I like to be/Thank you for coming and inviting me.” To Thomas, music is a two-way street. Youre either coming towards him looking for a good time, or heading away with a big fat smile on your face. “Cracked Up” is pure Midwest basement punk, more tuneful than it has any right to be. Thats Obnoxs secret ingredient -- good songs. Simple as that. Finding Thomas in a vulnerable mood, the gorgeous “Menocause” is a stately reverie, a peek behind the curtain. If it were thirty years ago, Spaceman 3 would be covering this wonder of slomo guitar fuzz and minimal percussion. In the vein of Louder Space hit “Molecule,” “Loudpack” is another resounding success in Obnoxs all-natural blending of hip-hop and noise rock. Slammin beats, big bass hits and a guitar so grimey youd have to get on your hands and knees with a toothbrush to scour its grout clean. “Loudpack” is exactly the kind of block-buster that dudes who drive around with the windows open and the stereo up should be cranking from their overtaxed sound-systems. Firmly making it his own, the Obnox cover of Columbus mainstay Tommy Jays “Village Idiot” amplifies the main guitar hook into a twist on the Breeders alterna-rock smash “Cannonball,” and too bad its not the ‘90s because Obnox could have competed for play on MTV -- at the very least Beck would have played him during a guest hosting gig on 120 Minutes.
“Hillbilly Intervention” is a station break that inverts the typical hip-hop skit into a crackerbaiting segment that also functions as a breather. And youll need that moment of rest before Obnox busts into “Freaky,” a two-minute barnstormer originally by Canadian cuddlecore queens Cub -- Thomas injects the song with booty-shaking low end making it seem like some recently unearthed Sly Stone b-side. On “Life Long Vine,” Thomas is in spooky mode, recalling the vaguely sinister moods of early Pink Floyd and Pretty Things. “Situation Comedy,” written by Cleveland spazz-pop maestro Mikey Machine, is where everything boils over, soaking you in scalding-hot rock action.
Working as his own mixmaster, Thomas keeps the radio dial spinning with a heavy-as-dirt version of Bo Diddley classic “Power House.” The album ends with every DJs favorite part of the 24 hour cycle -- “Safe Harbor” -- a haven for bold, free speech and in-your-face music pushed into the red. Obnox is on his home court here, sovereign territory even. Thomas is not only familiar with the lay of the land, hes out there discovering new horizons with each new release. Know America is another feather in the mans cap. Onward a New York Citys Wilful Boys is hard rock the way it once was -- and should always be -- for now and forever, amen. You know Wilful Boys are old-school from the start, as mainman and singer Steven Fisher isnt out front of the band, prancing and preening. The man is behind the drumkit, his heavy-as-a-sack-of-bricks pounding driving these songs forward with a bruising, methodical force. Fisher is an Aussie -- as is bassist Mikey Watkins -- and the hardscrabble nature of his native land sweats heaps of grit and power all over Wilful Boys debut release, a 7” single on NYCs Ever/Never Records. Alongside Degreaser and Ballroom, Wilful Boys are another face-blasting ensemble in Ever/Nevers stellar stable of New York/Australian combo units.
“Anybody There” is existential crisis as mid-tempo assault; theres just the right amount of introspection amidst the beer-guzzling chunks of riff -- as executed by Johnny Provenzano and Nicholas Isles -- shifting beneath Watkins bulldozer bass. “Flat Out” is the best song the Cosmic Psychos never wrote, a not-so-distant cousin to down-and-out laments like “Custom Credit” and “Bad Day.” The verse -- “Im waiting on a break/in the day or in my back” -- follows the descending riff into a well of hopelessness, but the overdriven chorus proves theres still some fight left in these Wilful Boys. Like the best rock n roll, this is music for drinking away your lifes worries." - Ever/Never.

Artist: OBNOX
Title: Wiglet
Format: LP
Label: Ever/Never
Country: USA
Price: $15.00
“Stripped of diamonds and gold, bought and sold/I sit on the floor and see the whole globe/Cop warmth and a piece of change/Loom large in a niggas brain” - “Look Into The Sun”
The people say they want the truth. Lets take them at their word: The People want the Truth. Lamont ‘Bim Thomas is the god(damn/s honest) Truth. We all know the truth isnt always pretty, and rarely is it fun -- but Thomas makes it sound like the best party youve ever been to which youve ever been invited. And make no mistake -- everyone is invited. Obnox is soul music for the bruised and battered; feel-good tunes for the righteously pissed-off masses; and a sonic salve for the neglected and ignored.
Wiglet -- Thomass third full-length of 2015 -- is part two of Ever/Nevers double-fisted Obnox-ious assault on your eardrums (following current triumph Know America). If possible, Wiglet is Thomas most wigged-out offering yet. Condensed into a solid half-hour of fuzz, grease, sweat and fury, Wiglet is another entry into Thomas now-patented, and near-effortless, blend of punk (including garage, post and hardcore), soul and hip-hop -- all with an ear worthy of a warped late ‘60s studio engineer. I could spend the rest of this page using further (well-earned) hyperbole extolling the various and numerous virtues of Obnoxs omnivorous approach to music, but instead I will regale you with a different angle that also speaks to Thomas strengths: his words.
“LA Blues, Saturday night/Trying to do everything right/Failing miserably/What if I was white/Cant think like that/Plague state of mind” - “See Me”
The fact that the thunderous “See Me,” which has drop-dead gorgeous vocal melodies, is a strange sort of love song, does not render the above opening lyrics as any less truthful. It may be easy for Thomas fans to detach themselves from the very real threat that he faces on a daily basis, but hes not here to help you forget. He is here for the undervalued and underrepresented. But Bim isnt intent on making you feel bad, quite the opposite. Acknowledging that the world outside of the rock n roll bubble is a fucked-up maze of paranoia and danger would be to live in a false utopia. Obnox is designed to build a new reality for Thomas and all his like-minded allies. It is the reason for Obnoxs strikingly original approach to underground music. Thomas devours everything in his path and spits it back out at you in perfect little nuggets of honesty coupled with savage intensity. And like any good MC, Thomas is a poet when it comes to the diss:
“I was in the room with you/You called me a jigaboo/You squirted across the room/Our relationship is doomed” - “Infinite Trash”
Thomas demonstrates his no-bullshit policy, unafraid to use the language that makes us blush, makes us furious. This is where Obnox excels -- blunt reality smoked and exhaled as truth.
“Baby when I roll up/You bout to get told off/Right after the blunt cough/Tell you straight to fuck off/Played me like I was soft/Didnt wanna clip your wings off/Shouldve dogged you, shouldve dissed you/Dont care what youve been through” - “Baby When I Roll Up”
Here, Thomas is showing you mercy. Its been a hell of a ride for Obnox in 2015. Wiglet is the final course of one hell of a meal. And the closing cover of Chrissy Zebby Tembos Afro-fuzz banger “Troublemaker” is the icing on the cake." - Ever/Never.

Artist: OBNOX
Title: Rojo
Format: LP
Label: Permanent
Country: USA
Price: $19.00
"Bim Only My Mom Calls Me Lamont Thomass legendary status as the drummer in the Bassholes, This Moment In Black History, and more recently, Puffy Areolas, may soon be overshadowed by Obnox. Rojo is some serious next level shit. If you dig noise rock, psych, free jazz, and most importantly, cacophonous repetition, youre gonna absolutely love this record." -Permanent.
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