Think about late ’70’s, early ’80’s garage rock, and conjure memories of Van Halen, AC/DC and ZZ Top. It was an era of guitar heroics and bands which seeped masculinity and musk. A golden era for a sub-genre which formed a global soundtrack with its roots firmly embedded in the good ol’ US of A.
Evolution dictates trends, and it’s this musical evolution which leads us to identify a softer, cleaner and rather irritating image when it comes to American music. So it’s with a heartwarming degree of pleasure we uncover a real gem in the shape of OBN III’s Third Time To Harm album.
We live in an age of Pop Idol and internet accessible, bubblegum chewing, pre-pubescent mega-stars. And it’s probably a sign of the times that this adrenaline packed, high octane album can be viewed as honest and refreshing! But with a glorious hint of throwback about it, Third Time To Harm could be plucked straight from 1980 and the aforementioned golden era. Indeed, you just want to blow the dust off it before you listen!
I was going to describe No Time For Blues as the ultimate driving anthem. I’ve changed my mind!… In fact, do not under any circumstance drive whilst listening to this track-or this album! You simply won’t be able to drive fast enough (or safely enough) to keep up with it… We’re dealing with a band who once made a video in which all the members murdered each other for the purpose of stealing booze and record money.
This track is action packed and adorned with glorious guitar solos, the likes of which you’ve probably long since forgotten. And this is the fist pumping theme which flows, or rather smashes it’s way through the LP.
The Rockin’ Spins is actually a very diverse number. Layered and deep as it unfolds through huge, blocky melodies with a pinch of nostalgia thrown in for good measure in the form of soulful harmonica flourishes scattering a hint of blues, a nod to Austin and home.
The album imposes itself on you. Beg To Christ and Uncle Powerbag bring the element of sleaze, and that’s a key ingredient as we now have a very definite image of what it is that sets OBN III apart.
Queen Glom tells the tale of a rather unsavory sort. The kinda gal who mimics your thoughts, ‘borrows’ your money and steals your friends…Hey, we all know one, right? But it sums up the album perfectly. Big old fashioned chords, powerful melodies, indiscriminate lyrics and a huge heart.
But if there’s a time and a place for everything, has Third Time To Harm arrived 34 years late?
Perhaps it is a throwback to a bygone era, but if it is then what a glorious throwback. Perhaps by speaking of nostalgic melodies and harking back to the good ol’ US of A I’m doing the album an injustice. But the fact remains that whether this is the tone or image the band set out to portray, this is indeed exactly what it portrays. But far from a criticism, this is what makes Third Time To Harm stand out from the pimple squeezing, candyfloss eating crowd.
Not only will Third Time To Harm awaken your senses, it’ll take them on an adrenaline fuelled, high octane, high speed spin around town on the back of it’s Harley before feeding them a stake the size of your head and dropping them off on the bypass to walk home in the rain.
And that my friends, is what American music used to be…