Popped over to the Pabst Blue Rendezvous at the Ibiza parking lot Saturday to be perplexed and enthralled by one of the city's perpetually fluctuating live acts.
Popped over to the Pabst Blue Rendezvous at the Ibiza parking lot Saturday to be perplexed and enthralled by one of the city’s perpetually fluctuating live acts.
That would be Obviouslies, for which the irrepressible Nick Schuld seems to be the ringleader. Schuld has been kicking around Columbus music far longer than I’ve been writing about it, but his exuberance has not tempered.
I always enjoyed Schuld’s gusto with power-pop trio The Rackets. Lately that enthusiasm has manifested itself in the form of Obviouslies, a slippery little collective that straddles genre lines with glee. Their seven-inch is among my favorite Columbus releases this year, matching the shoegaze dirge “A Couple Honest Years” with the shoulder-swinging pep of “Wish For You.”
That record’s diversity doesn’t begin to account for what transpires on stage. Although he rocked a show-stealing unitard at ComFest, Schuld generally cedes the spotlight to Jamie Sommer and Super Desserts’ Ianna Shively, a pair of sassy lasses whose harmonies and hijinks keep listeners on their toes, or tapping them.
Several other players have segued in and out of the lineup, including Exwhites drummer Colin Odden, who manned one of two drum kits Saturday.
Generally, the band’s noisy and poppy sides merge into one unhinged power-pop party, like Broken Social Scene with a Cheap Trick sensibility. Saturday’s set was nothing like that. Two drum sets, two basses and two microphones yielded a series of gnarly experiments, including an opening number that paired breakneck unison drumming with bass feedback and a scattershot sing-along.
What followed was a droning, repetitive and mostly instrumental low-end monster that stretched well beyond 10 minutes. By the end of it, three out of four members were pounding away on drums, conjuring images of similar but superior displays by Liars and The Slide Machine.
They wrapped up with a sweetly sung ballad backed by acoustic guitar and hand percussion. It was a salve to my ears after so many intriguing ideas executed sourly.
Although I thought everything but that last song was terrible, I love the idea of a band that keeps its audience guessing. I’m enjoying the vim and vigor this Obviouslies bunch brings to the Columbus music landscape.