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Brooklyn bands do it best. I’ve always felt this way. No offense to anyone from anywhere else, but that borough is just a breeding ground for musicians. Must be something in the water (ewww). The Obits are no exception. The Brooklyn-based four-piece band released their third album, “Bed & Bugs,” this year to mixed reviews.
Surf rock influences are evident in a few songs, like “Besetchet” (No. 6), an instrumental ditty, which is also the last track on Side A of the LP. “Spun Out” (No. 2) has an official music video that can be found on the band’s website and YouTube. This is proof that old dudes can still rock, and yes, they are old.
Old-school lead singer Rick Froberg is well into his 40s, but that might be why he brings such a garage-punk vibe as the frontman. Better known for his punk-rock band Hot Snake, Froberg is still well into his musical prime. His indiscernible yelp makes understanding some of the lyrics close to impossible, but I’ve heard worse.
The chorus in “Pet Trust” (No. 5) is an example of this. I had to listen a few times because I wanted to, and also to better understand what he’s saying.
“Operation Bikini” (No. 7), the first track on Side B, is also heavily influenced by surf rock. One of my favorites on the album, the layering of rhythm guitar (Sohrab Habibion) with lead guitar and vocals (Froberg) near the end of the track is perfect.
“Bed & Bugs” is the best from The Obits so far; third time’s the charm. Check out this album for a modern take on the best of the rock and punk era.
I give this album 3.7 stars. For similar sounds, look up Drive Like Jehu, Rocket from the Crypt, and The Sultans.