LIVE REVIEW: Obits and Disappears at The Casbah
Rick Froberg and Steve Shelley throw down in Little Italy
Thursday, August 25, saw the return of Rick Froberg and his Brooklyn band Obits along with Chicago’s Disappears to the Casbah. Froberg was a member of well-known San Diego post-punk bands Drive Like Jehu, Pitchfork and Hot Snakes. Obits pick up where Hot Snakes left off, with a less angular punk sound and a heavier focus on rock and roll melodies.
Local San Diego outfit Beaters opened up the show to a sparse but attentive crowd, playing a continuous set of dark psychedelic punk that blended one song into another, with the music only stopping at the end of their set. They complimented the mood with a dimly lit stage, only using the red stage lights to illuminate their set.
Disappears joined Obits for their west coast tour dates, and took the stage second playing a mesmerizing and precise set of songs spanning their two albums, both released on Kranky Records. Touring in support of their latest album, Guider, Disappears recently added Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley to their lineup, enhancing their krautrock-inspired rhythms. While the band creates complex songs that are strong enough to stand alone as instrumentals, the garage-style vocals from singer/guitarist Brian Case adds a distinct layer for the listener to digest.
Obits finally took the stage and played a solid hour of material from both of their albums on Sub Pop Records. The crowd definitely reserved their energy for the former San Diegan Rick Forberg and his new outfit. Obits played their set in a quick succession, with Froberg yelling into his microphone while guitarist Sohrab Habibion paced around stage left, pausing only for the occasional back-up vocals. Bassist Greg Simpson and current touring drummer Alexis Fleisig provided a strong rhythmic section throughout the night and grounded the frenetic guitar work that flanked them.