Review: Obliterations Distill Adrenaline on Self-Titled EP Debut
Eight and a half minutes. Five hundred and ten seconds. How much complete and utter chaos can you cram into that tiny time frame? Well, if you're Obliterations, and you have a debut four-song EP, then quite a lot. The truest spirit of rock n roll, the most distilled and purified aspect of heavy music, is captured within these four songs. Obliterations are a shot of pure adrenaline anchored with a specific love of buzz-saw guitar work. They are the bastard child of Black Sabbath and Black Flag.
Obliterations open their sonic sledgehammer with “Kick Against The Pricks” (perhaps the best song title this year). The feedback intro explodes into hyper-kinetic guitar work that is as addictive as it is chaotic. Obliterations don’t just invest in speed alone; they make sure the riffs are memorable. “Kick Against The Pricks” even manages to toss in a skull rattling solo for good measure. It’s got the confidence of a Tony Iommi riff, but with that searing whine of Greg Ginn’s guitar sound. I’m quite sure if Obliterations could play with their middle finger up at all times, they would.
“Deaf, Dumb And Blind” takes a few notes from old school hardcore. The riff has roots in Agnostic Front’s “Eliminator”, but only if filtered through an Animosity era COC record. Long before hardcore simply became another word for simplistic groove metal, there was an art to it. You were trying to take unbridled energy and force it through guitars, bass and drums. Obliterations understand that idea and nail it. “Deaf, Dumb And Blind”, with its undeniable hardcore riff and howling vocals, makes you want to punch things. You can’t help it. Mid-way through the song your body uncontrollably slams around the room, and your fist balls up looking for a target.
“Wage Slaves” (another damn fine song title) opens in a classic way that I’ll always love. Bone rattling bass, distorted to all get out, lays down the thick groove accompanied only by the drums. The jam here is about those of us working crap jobs, for bum pay, with no escape in sight. When Obliterations open the bass/drums groove, into an ultra catchy metal riff that would make Slayer proud, you instantly want to burn your workplace to the ground, and beat the shit out of your boss.
The final chapter to the insanity is “Twisted And Pissed”. Loud, brash, angry and completely High Rocktane, Obliterations decide to go out with a Molotov cocktail. Everything on this EP is about cranked up guitar riffs, heavy pounding drums, loud bass, and really, really pissed off vocals. The raw energy that powered bands like The Stooges and the Bad Brains, crossed with Sabbath heaviness, and Black Flag’s dedication to feedback, distortion and noise. Even the recording here is a mess, a beautiful, wonderful, completely visceral mess. Obliterations are alive, and we’re lucky to be there to experience their thrashing about against the world.
Obliterations have done more with four songs, than most bands can pull off in two full albums. They take the rock and bash your skull in, then roll your body into a lake of fire. An absolutely stunning debut.