Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Album Review: Obnox – Boogalou Reed


Lamont “Bim” Thomas is a scene stalwart for the generations; you knew him when you were a young buck, shared a joint with him when your band opened for his and introduced him to your girl when you came back to town for a visit. He was around when Lakewood was fringe and he continues to push Cleveland toward artistic Valhalla rather than hot topic wasteland.

From the Bassholes to This Moment in Black History and on to his current project, Obnox, Bim has been a Cleveland punk rock ambassador of the high kind. While not for everyone, Obnox has created a body of work as eclectic as the man himself; a dizzying blend of Funk, Punk, Hip Hop and pure noise. Past records like I’m Still Bleeding are difficult to grasp, challenging listeners to broaden their interpretations of music and crushing the idea of genres, tilting from fuzzed out garage rock to unorthodox Miami bass. It’s all a little much for new ears to take; maybe a hit off that joint will help.

We get a good indication of where Boogalou Reed is headed from the gates; starting with a plodding two minute number called “Wonder Weed”, the long player is already pushing our buttons. That is the point of rowdy rock music after all and Bim shovels attitude down our throats on the brash “Too Punk Shakur”; full of pure Clevo snarl, “Shakur” is a triumph of turbulent rock and roll. The title track is an eerie work of experimentation; like a smoother Self Destruct Button sipping on a wine cooler.

“I don’t care about Maximum Rock n Roll” Bim reflects on “Situation”, trading guitar driven garage rock for east coast hip-hop. It’s blunt music, ride or die meets the nineties Cleveland punk scene.

On what may be the most dissimilar cover of all time, Bim spins “Ohio” around on its axes until there is no note of Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young, only the type of Cleveland weirdness capable exclusively from a man who lived to define what that weirdness was. Boogalou Reed is not a normal record by any stretch of the word unless, of course, you are Lamont "Bim" Thomas because for him it's just another day in the life. 

2 comments:

Dead Town Cleveland said...
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Anonymous said...

great record