Bang Messiah


Smog Veil Records, 2018

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Obnox is the one man band of Cleveland's Lamont Thomas, who takes a very unusual approach to rock 'n' roll by adding in punk, funk, hip-hop, and psychedelic sounds. Of course, he does have some help on hand, and it's certainly noteworthy is that the album was recorded and produced by the almighty Steve Albini (formerly of Big Black and Rapeman, currently in Shellac).

Quite humorously, the first track on the album is titled “Steve Albini Thinks We Suck;” it is a quick jaunt into noise meets hip-hop with samples before the more fleshed out “Peek-A-Boo,” which is more funk and rap-based and finds plenty of grooves. Things then shift into the percussion heavy “Baby Godmother,” where it sounds like three songs are playing at once, and at least one of them is noise. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

When we get to “I Hate Everything,” the guitars take over in a garage rock sort of way with organs, some solos, and a fantastic, gritty spirit. “Cream” continues with a hazy atmosphere that's equal parts rock and hip-hop, and the longest tune present, “40th St. Black,” glides with a similar approach where vocals from Viggatron make this a standout track.

The second half of the album is more surprises, especially with the scrappy punk of “Enter The Hater,” where crashing percussion and a frenetic pace make this one fierce and intense. Things then just get better with the sludgey, metal sounds of “Find My Way” and “Rally On The Block” brings us back to hip-hop sounds with a manic, busy backdrop. Meanwhile, the extremely odd, almost gypsy feeling of “Wake And Quake” adds another dimension to the album.

The album ends on perhaps two of the oddest tracks. “Off Ya Ass” is a collision of noise with squealing horns, bombastic drumming, and sonic walls of noise, and “Fluss” (a reference to Albini's cat, I believe) is essentially the second half of the opening track and just as fleeting, too.

This release is nothing if not strange, and certainly not for the faint of heart. But if you are someone who likes to peruse the iconoclastic and has zero interest in the mundane, Obnox is an artist that will strike a chord with you.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2018 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Smog Veil Records, and is used for informational purposes only.