The Oblivians- Guitar Shop Asshole and Do the Milkshake
From: Popular Favorites [Crypt Records 1996]
Short, furious blasts of distorted, amped-up three chord lightning. Alcohol-fueled reckless abandon. This is what's missing from the Rock-n-Roll of today. Too much time is being wasted on multi-million dollar record deals and talentless hacks who parade across our televisions every night, claiming to be the next best thing. I implore you to forget about the next best thing, and instead listen to the sleazy, balls-out rockin' sounds of the Oblivians.
The Oblivians are from Memphis, Tennesee, the city which spawned Mud Boy and the Neutrons, The Mar Keys, Moloch, Furry Lewis, Johnny Woods and countless others. It's no wonder that this talented three-piece garage-rock group was spawned from such a musically diverse and free-thinking place like Memphis. The Oblivians sound is a trebly, lo-fi super-charged garage rock full of gruff vocals and lyrics about sex, drugs and well... Doin the milkshake. They recall the most intensely rockin' moments of The Stooges, The Sonics, The Cows and Jesus Lizard, while no doubt influencing the sound of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, who in turn influenced the sound of RL Burnside's album "Ass Pocket of Whiskey".
I have been listening to Popular Favorites in may car for the past three weeks and can't get these songs out of my head. It's really difficult for me to pick a couple songs from this record, as the whole thing is great. However, I really like "Guitar Shop Asshole" with it's hilarious bit where a customer goes into the guitar shop and says "I'd like to buy one guitar string and your cheapest picks" . The guitar shop worker replies with "Man you must really be frustrated, All that hair coverin' up your neck, I say you can go to heck". "Guitar Shop Asshole" features overloaded amp distortion, hyper-speed three chord guitar riffing and maniacally, gruff vocals that all go by in under two minutes. The next track is called "Do the Milkshake" and it is the only song on the album that breaks the five minute mark. It is easily the most bluesy on the record and features a stinging guitar tone that recalls Ike Turner's old sides on Ace Records. You would never guess that the racket these guys create on "Do the Milkshake" is done by a three-piece. Enjoy, and please let me know what you think by adding a comment.