The Oblivians

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Released 17th June 2013 via

In The Red

Memphis-based, The Oblivians helped to spearhead a new breed of stripped-down garage before they split in 98; this eagerly awaited new album - recorded in less than a week - is a welcome anecdote to the bloated, self-pitying, image conscious shit that dominates these days. It's also honest and catchy but not contrived; if you like Green Day then you'll lament the time you've wasted when you hear this. Desperation is the real deal. Sordid tales of unrequited lust, drunkenness and incarceration and are served raw at amphetamine speed. This is music which communicates without conceit and creates a wondrous racket.

It’s a fucking wonderful album; joyously scruffy and rough, with a melodic heart that gives it a kind of candy and bourbon flavour. Laced with a vibe that simultaneously rages against and champions the melange that it American culture, the songs's melodies, lyrics and beats immediately conjure images of milkshakes, drive-in movies and min-skirts - particularly ‘Pinball King’ and ‘Woke Up In a Police Car’ - but this is far from an indulgent wander into deluded nostalgia; this is Bukowski's Americana, the kind of soulful dirty-blues of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Dead Moon.

It's true garage; totally raw, unpretentious, a celebration of the unwashed, and a triumphant fuck-you. ‘Little War Child’ perhaps best encapsulates the album; its delivered in a Joey Ramone meets Joe Strummer snarl, tells of lust for girl who “played bass with blood on her hands” and while it's a 100% scuzz the ‘oo-oo’ in the chorus is pure bubblegum.

Maybe there's no single song here that stands out as a break-through hit - though ‘I'll Be Gone’ and ‘Desperation’ are disco-floor fillers - but clearly The Oblivians don't give a shit. This is an album that should be listened to at full volume from start to finish - ideally somewhere you can shout, dance and shoot BB guns at cops eating doughnuts.

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