Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Obits, False Alarm, The Dark Rags live @ Six D.O.G.S (Athens, October 17, 2012)

You could say that The Obits, the main protagonists of the guitar feast we enjoyed last Wednesday at the Six D.O.G.S club, came to Athens at just the right time. If you paraphrase a little the title of their latest album ("Moody, Standard And Poor"), you have a very succinct, right on the money description of the way most Greeks feel at the moment: moody, substandard and poor!

On the other hand, if you take into consideration the achievements of Obits main man Rick Froberg over the last two and a half decades (from Pitchfork, to Drive Like Jehu, to Hot Snakes), then it definitely took too long to see him in action here in Athens.

The same basic elements that characterized the sound of Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes, Froberg’s piercing yell and the two adventurous, dueling guitars, are still present in The Obits sound. The songs on their two albums so far are simpler in structure compared to the past but retain their explosive edge, while Froberg may not yell as loud as he used to but both his delivery and guitar playing are just as intense as back in the day.

Sohrab Habibion, the band’s other guitarist, also made his presence felt both on and off the stage, breaking one string after the other and also managing, during incendiary set-closer "Killer", to crowd-surf all over the tiny club. Credit, of course, goes also to the band’s rock solid rhythm section which consists of Greg Simpson on bass and Alexis Fleisig, of Girls Against Boys fame, on drums.

The Obits, live @ Six D.O.G.S

Scott McCloud
The voice of the latter, and legend in his own right, Mr. Scott McCloud was also present in the club on this night. His role was to reprise his performance on False Alarm’s "Sell Me Something", one of the two tracks on the Greek band’s just released debut single (see the live collaboration below). False Alarm opened for Obits with a strong set comprising of material from their soon to be released debut album and also paid tribute to their influences by bringing on stage Ada Lambara (guitarist of '80s greats Villa 21 and Nonmandol later on) to perform with them on their covers of Social Distortion’s "Don’t Drag Me Down" and Wipers’ "Over the Edge".

False Alarm, live @ Six D.O.G.S

False Alarm with Ada Lambara, live @ Six D.O.G.S

The night opened by another local act, The Dark Rags, who successfully mix garage and punk rock, continuing a rich tradition of the Greek indie scene that can be traced all the way back to the '80s and bands like The Last Drive.

The Dark Rags, live @ Six D.O.G.S

Here’s what Obits played for us in their 65-minute set:

Light Sweet Crude, Shift Operator, Pine On, No Fly List, SUD, Everything Looks Better in the Sun, New August, Suez Canal, Lilies in the Street, The City Is Dead  (The Kids cover), You Gotta Lose, I Want Results. Encore: Talking To The Dog, Widow of My Dreams, Killer.

The Obits - Widow Of My Dreams, live @ Six D.O.G.S (Athens, Oct. 17, 2012)

False Alarm with Scott McCloud - Sell Me Something, live @ Six D.O.G.S (Athens, Oct. 17, 2012)

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