OBN III's

OBN III's (Tic Tac Totally)

Phases & Stages

OBN III's

(Tic Tac Totally)

OBN III's namesake provocateur, Orville Bateman Neeley III, makes punk rock look easy, as if it's as simple as throwing on a tattered T-shirt and picking a fight with the guy in the first row. "I could give a shit," he shrugs amid the early Stones chug of "No Way to Rock 'n Roll," culled from a local Super Secret Records 7-inch, "but I just don't think I do." There's far more at work on OBN III's self-titled second album than Neeley lets on. It's an impressive work of chiseled determination, with chain-gang power chords, a rough-and-tumble rhythm section, and hooks that connect like brass knuckles. Opening couplet "You Wanna Bitch?" and "So What If We Die" pack a knife to Black Flag's "TV Party," pitting hardcore intensity with pub-punk's taunting defiance. Likewise, the sonic R&B of "Driving Dream" and heavy sway of "Stick and Move" prove guitarist Jason Smith the perfect right-hand man.

***.5

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