bill bodkin reviews the latest EP from the asbury stalwart…
The Obvious, one of Asbury Park’s most beloved acts, is a band that wears their influences on their sleeve. It’s no secret that this foursome absolutely loves the vintage grunge sound that was made popular in the late 80s and early 90s.
Catch them live or listen to their new EP Maybe She’s Bored With It (a brilliant title we might add), and you can tell this band loves themselves some Nirvana and Hole.
However, what separates The Obvious from other bands who are inspired by grunge, is they aren’t trying to recreate this classic sound, they’re channeling it. And this is an important concept to remember. Some bands just to try make music that sounds exactly like the groups that inspired them (we’re look at you, The Strokes and The Darkness). The Obvious take the spirit of grunge, the spirit of alternative and put it through their own whiskey hazed filter.
Lead singer Angie Sugrim is able to vacillate her vocals from the riot grrrrrl growls and snarls that have tinges of Courtney Love to them to a more melodic and graceful sound — being both sweetheart and the siren sometimes within the same song. It’s nice to a see a singer in this punk-inspired genre with vocal range.
The gentlemen who comprise The Obvious aren’t just faceless backers of a female frontwoman. No, Daniel Astorri (Guitar/vox), Mike Smith (Bass) and Rob Blake (Drums) really bring it. They capture the grunge sound of intense and driving grooves and crunchy riffs. Their rich sound has all the earmarks of grunge, but also has a completely fresh, modern and relevant sound.
Maybe She’s Bored With It is the type of EP that music aficionados who love the thrill of discovering new, intelligent music featuring a strong female voice or if you’re someone who misses that classic Seattle sound.