Sunday, November 15, 2015

Chicago Based The Obleeks - "One In A Million" EP is Short, Chunky, American Rock and Full Of Surprises

When the abrasive pile driving guitars of  Chicago based The Obleeks' Scamperhouse filled my head I got really excited. The entire song is drenched in distortion. The vocals have that dry and over-modulated tone, a sound I have loved  ever since I first heard the Beatles "Let It Be" sessions. There is a huge sound here, not arena rock big but small club huge sound, or basement rock or bedroom rock party stuffed full of sound. Cheap mics and everything turned up as much as possible, organic drums with no sound reinforcement in a tight space. That kind of sound. Maybe my favorite type of sound.

The Obleeks' power pop sound feels honed from many decades but, to me, the 80's indie mixed with 90's post rock feels most pervasive. That being said this EP made me think of a multitude of bands in either attitude or tone. Bands like Superchunk, Miracle Legion, Matthew Sweet, The Wedding Present, The Beatles and The Mice. I even sense a patina of early T-Rex glam and mod (The Jam) tones percolating in there as well.

The "One In A Million" 4 track EP starts with an abbreviated cover version of The Vulgar Boatmen's All My Friends done up really punchy and lovingly followed by the aforementioned Scamperhouse. By the way, the Scamperhouse vocal performance (to me) has a touch of Brit meets early Petty and the Heartbreakers. The downbeats feel incredibly energetic. The musical break kicks major ass. The title track One In A Million is also very chunky with great guitar breaks. The surprise track is Casual Seer, an acoustic vagabond on the road folk rocker with a bluegrass vibe that amazingly erupts into a pretty vast sound with the inclusion of strings (a cello I believe) that bends the song into something more abstract and quite beautiful.

This very short introduction into The Obleeks' sound and aesthetic has so much to offer. I look so forward to hearing more from this band.
Robb Donker

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