Been Obscene – The Magic Table Dance …   Leave a comment

I stumbled across these guys quite by accident, but, considering that their home is Elektrohasch Records (home to such acts as The Machine, Sungrazer, Hypnos69, My Sleeping Karma and Rotor), I really shouldn’t be surprised. Hailing from Salzburg, this quaint little quartet actually put out a quite modest and thoroughly enjoyable stoner rock album out there. I’d go so far as to say it is perfect, but we’ll get to that.

Now, in general, the music is what you’d expect. It’s warm, packs all the muzz and fuzz of stoner rock. Fat bass, simple-yet-effective riffs, fuzzy tones, rather whiny yet enjoyable vocals (think Josh Homme after taking a beating and losing the ability to sing falsetto), very nice drumming and a general homely feel. That’s the biggest plus of this album: I mean, when I first listened to it, I was new to this whole ‘stoner’ thing and I felt right at home with it. It’s easy to grasp, easy to digest but very hard to get out of your head.

Specifically, you get different things in different tracks. The album kicks off with the title track, which starts slow and builds speed until it starts to rock you where you stand. In a way, the album doesn’t waste any time in giving you a taste of what is to come, because every bit of identity Been Obscene has is there, right from the off. The second track, “Uniform” was actually my introduction to the band and it is quite a ride.

The first time on the album we hear vocals, it alternates between melodic stomping and stoner-style stagnant riffing with the drums carrying on most of the weight. The main riff is danceable, so much so that you are utterly cathartic if you don’t find yourself doing something to match the music. This is followed by “Come Over”, a chill piece. It’s more vocal intensive than most songs on here, and it’s very calm, relaxed. Perfect for a day out. Then comes the rather progressive (and I use the term loosely) “Freakin’ Rabbit”, which feels like a jam-session piece put on here due to the sheer amount of calm, effortless harmony it puts out. Take it from someone who hates instrumental songs: it’s good. The band hits the road and puts out the desert rock song, “Impressions” right after that; it’s a fun little piece with its rises and falls. It displays the band’s strengths and feels like a sequel to the song before it. It also has a very nice chorus where the vocals croon “Yeah, here I stay.”

At that point, the album pulls out the combo breaker, notably, “Demons” which clocks in at a whopping thirteen minutes. It’s luckily one of those songs that, despite it’s actual length, feels much shorter due to how well-crafted it is. It’s got great flow, the occasional post-rock moment, nice transitions in between the parts. While the longest, it’s also one of the best, showcasing the sheer amount of talent this band possesses. As if to apologize for the length of this track, however, the album follows with the shortest song it has, “Ring Ring” which is a quirky little instrumental interlude that has all the trimmings of a stomping circus song, I kid you not. It has the occasional metal moment (yeah, within that 1:28) and they squeeze in a nice little solo passage, too. The album comes to a close with “How It Feels”, which is a weird moment. It’s hard to describe: it’s wildly different from the rest of the album, and the band seems to favor a venture into a purer post-rock territory with it. Thing is, where this song should be the odd one out, it rather feels like the retro-prog-rock-meets-Been-Obscene piece, in that it still carries the band’s identity with it. Incredible closer that leaves you wanting more, would be my description.

I’m aware that I give very high marks, but I don’t often review something I’d rather bash, so I make sure there is a baseline of quality observed in my albums of choice (and there will come a time when that doesn’t apply, I know) and “The Magic Table Dance” is absolutely flawless. What’s more, it feels effortless, too, as if the band just gets into the studio and this comes out. Go acquire this album by any means necessary, I mean it. It’s simply delicious and easy-going down. 10/10
Review Written By Sarp Esin

Been Obscene @ Myspace
Been Obscene Official Website

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Posted May 18, 2011 by doommantia in Been Obscene

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