Reviews

The OBGMs
The OBGMs

(Black Box)

7/10

Precisely one nanosecond of The OBGMs’ debut album passes before the pummelling begins, and from there on out this 25-minute sprint rarely stops for breath. The Toronto quartet have been sharpening their tools for a decade, but their journey has been unconventional. Starting as a rap trio, frontman Densil McFarlane chose to learn guitar and dive headlong into the renowned Toronto punk scene.

Finally, with veteran hand Dave Schiffman at the mixing desk, The OBGMs have made a captivating and subtly varied debut that can rub shoulders with any of their contemporaries. Template-setting opener ‘Beat Up Kidz’, as well as ‘Crack Loop’ and ‘Pill’, are calling cards, capturing the band’s high-speed garage punk in a familiar, somewhat traditional form; McFarlane’s buzzsaw guitars in a duel to the death with drummer Colanthony Humphrey’s compact jabs. They are unafraid of flirting with a pop sensibility too: ‘Torpedo’ and ‘House’ marry that intensity with a desire to sink sharp melody hooks into the listener’s cranium, all while obeying a punk doctrine of economy.

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