Obits Olympic Community Hall, Halifax NS, October 23

Obits Olympic Community Hall, Halifax NS, October 23
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Obits sort of sound like a little bit of everyone all at once: a garage rock foundation with flourishes of punk, surf and the British Invasion. Live, the New York-based band rely heavily on drummer Alexis Fleisig: his driving toms provide the foundation over which Rick Froberg and Sohrab Habibion weave sharp, biting guitar lines. Obits aren't the sort of band who traffic in slow builds and big releases, and the riffs are rarely fancy: there's a relentless simplicity to their songs that a crowd primed for stripped-down rock'n'roll was quite receptive to.

Part of what makes Obits work is that singer Froberg — previously guitar and lead vocals for Hot Snakes — sounds like he could be in an entirely different band: his voice has the rugged timbre of a classic rock act. It provides an interesting contrast during the messier songs and a sense of fulfillment when the band members switch to more straightforward riffs. The band might be better at the latter: a couple of late-set rockers were highlights.