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Obliterations At The Oxford House, Sunday May 26th 2013

too close for comfort















On Sunday, I had quite an interesting experience: I watched a band perform in someone’s living room, the kind of too-close-for-comfort situation that makes you feel a little weird. But what if this band becomes big and famous? I can say I will have been one of the few persons to have experienced their first gig in a tiny sweaty room, and I will forget about the damaged eardrums and the crushed feet.

 Obliterations, a band that will be part of the Jubilee music fest in a few weeks here in Los Angeles, had announced its first ever show in a private house, on Sunday afternoon. I had listened to their bandcamp page and was rather impressed by their terrifying and powerful sound, so I decided to go check them out. The room was quite small, but the band was quite the attraction as they had drained a crowd that couldn’t really fit in. It was very hot and stuffy inside, it was dark, but nobody complained during the band’s earth-jolting performance.

I was so close that the singer was sometimes stumbled on my feet, sweat was running along my back (and I wasn’t even really moving), my ears were stuffed with earplugs so the sound was partly attenuated… so I guess I will have to see them in a better setting to really embrace the music! Still, it was a dangerous sound, the type that can creep you out, especially in such a small place where some people were sketching some moshing moves.

Obliterations were four long-hair guys, playing fast, loud and loose and their sound has already (and appropriately) been described as Back Sabbath meets Black Flag. That’s exactly the kind of feeling I got, a heavy metal sound, always fast and angry, making repeated assaults, a hardcore beastly energy, and singer Sam James Velde – whose vocals I could not hear very well unfortunately – harassing the crowd, then kneeling down and rolling his back on the floor.

The real deal if you like an aggressive sound built in distortion, velocity, noisy guitars and screamed vocals, the kind of sound that installs terror, chaos and destruction in your mind, with the kind of nihilistic lyrics that would scare the Jesus out of any good Christian, ‘Children of God they walk in line like fucking sheep/Consumption of fear, with their bellies full/Children of God they give hope to the feeble and weak/Deaf, Dumb and Blind…..Faith’, or piss off the life out of a Donald Trump, ‘Buried in debt with a noose around my neck, I’m ready to blow/Shoveling shit into the capitalist pit now, go fuck your world/Light a match, watch it flicker, fucking explode/Kick against the pricks, we only live to die’ – not that I was able to comprehend the lyrics, I got that from their website!

I thought Velde didn’t have enough space to totally express himself, so it will be interesting to see them on a real stage, and after a few songs, everything was about sweat and long hair in my face for me. If this is any indication that these guys are gonna make it, a lot of people were really into their music, doing some sick head banging, plus Trash Talk’s frontman Lee Spielman was there!

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