Issue June 16, 2009

I Blame You

Obits
Sub Pop

For a debut, this doesn’t sound like a new band, does it? Well, that’s because they aren’t exactly new. Nope, these are indie rock veterans, most notably, Rick Froberg, whose warrior wails fronted Drive Like Jehu, Pitchfork and Hot Snakes. Here, his full-throated cries dip, jab and prance around sparse, taut guitar lines that sound wholly nostalgic: at times, the riffs are bluesy — as heard through the walls of a garage — while other moments have a distinctly rockabilly rhythm and stretch, not to mention the Dick Dale surf-styled reverberations accenting phrases throughout. The bottom line, however, is undisputable: This is an energetic, emotionally packed ensemble delivering urgent anthems to please punk-rock gods. Whether an effigy or a reinvention really doesn’t matter. This is where the rubber meets the road, first time or hundredth, the energy, the danger, is all still exciting.