Obits may be from Brooklyn, but their San Diego roots are undeniable.
The quartet is led by Rick Froberg, former singer/guitarist for San Diego indie-punk heroes Pitchfork, Hot Snakes and Drive Like Jehu (among others). In his past musical lives, Froberg has also worked with SD legend John Reis, leader of bands like Rocket From the Crypt and the Night Marchers (and proprietor of Bar Pink).
This year, Obits released their sophomore album, Moody, Standard, and Poor. It's a lean, mean, stripped-down rock machine in the vein of the band's 2009 debut, I Blame You. However, while some critics complained that I Blame You paled in comparison to Froberg's past successes (as Pitchfork puts it, "if [Froberg] didn't want albatrosses like Drive Like Jehu or Hot Snakes around his neck, he should have been in bands that were less awesome"), Moody, Standard, and Poor does not suffer from this problem.
The new album -- while still drawing upon a tried-and-true sound that will always speak volumes to willing listeners -- combines a wide range of influences to create something that's sure to please everyone. Don't believe me? Check out "Shift Operator" and Moody opener "You Gotta Lose" (MP3s) to see for yourself.
As to whether Froberg still yells like he used to, Obits label SubPop puts that question to rest: "Froberg doesn't yell anymore. It makes him uncomfortable. Hurts his throat. He's not going to do it. Unless he sees a fire in the engineer's booth or a crazy man with a knife hiding behind one of the amps."
You'll be able to confirm or deny that claim on Aug. 25, when Obits play the Casbah. Get your tickets here.
T. Loper is a writer and photographer for the San Diego music blog Owl and Bear.