Obnox is Lamont Thomas’ show. He’s been a fixture on the Cleveland music scene for years. He played drums in the garage punk bands This Moment in Black History and The Puffy Areolas. For his solo project, Thomas takes all the sounds he’s loved over the years and mashes them together for something that defies classification. Elements of hip-hop are strongly represented. The dense soundscapes recall Public Enemy, but also industrial pioneers like Einsturzende Neubauten and Throbbing Gristle. Other elements that float to the surface include reggae, free jazz, and garage rock and weirdo experimental music.
Bang Messiah opens with a foul-mouthed noise rant called “Steve Albini Thinks We Suck”. “40th Street Black” is built around mechanical rhythms and simple keyboard tones overlaid by a vocal that sounds like it’s being phoned in over damaged phone lines. “Rally On The Block” begins with toasting over tub thumping percussion and fades out with jazzy piano and psych guitar playing unrelated solos. Nothing here is quite what it seems.
I think Obnox’s mission is to melt people’s brain cells. Once those cells are reduced to plasma, then things like genre become meaningless and all that’s left is sound.