Obits, Disappears, Red Eyed Legends | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Obits, Disappears, Red Eyed Legends Critic's Choice Early Warnings (Music) Member Picks Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., July 25, 10 p.m. 2009

Devoted fans of singer-­guitarist Rick Froberg (Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes) have known about his current project, Obits, since 2006, when the four-piece started writing material. But the band was painfully stingy with teaser tracks and didn’t post anything till after a bootleg of their live debut in January 2008 leaked—at which point the Obits hype machine shifted into overdrive. The folks at Sub Pop, apparently frenzied with anticipation, signed the band on the strength of that bootleg, and this spring Obits released I Blame You (Sub Pop), full of angular guitar riffage and the welcome sound of Froberg’s nasal, gritty voice. Obits, like Hot Snakes, are pretty open about their love for the Wipers: they play their tightly constructed songs with an urgent pulse that makes them feel much faster than they are, and they favor the kind of glassy, crunchy guitar sounds you can get by cranking the volume of a clean signal. What separates Obits from Froberg’s earlier bands is a stronger emphasis on melody, both in the vocals and in the resonant, even eerie guitars. I Blame You isn’t the mind-blowing album you might’ve hoped for after three years of preparation (and all the attendant buzz), but it’s still an impressive showing by a guy who’s only ever produced excellent balls-out rock. Disappears and Red Eyed Legends (playing their final show) open. —Kevin Warwick

Price: $10

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