Live and Local: White Christ and OBN IIIs at Hi-Tones




OBN III's Third Time to Harm

White Christ is an OG name for a Texas punk band, though it's easy to forget that SA is technically still within the confines of the Bible Belt. Wearing this state citizenship with pride, White Christ's Tom Wilson thrashed around in Lone Star shorts, dropping the Misfits' Texas tune "Bullet" during the set.

Though they made nods to the Misfits, another iconic 80s punk band seemed to define the sound of SA's White Christ. The fourtet provided a retrospective of the Black Flag aesthetic, moving from Morris-era Flag, through the hybrid hardcore/angular jams of Damaged and towards the late-era, Rollins rants and sludge guitar of My War. Impressively, the SA crew could channel the same pitch of feedback throughout the gig, a sound quite close to the stressful drone of Alien.

Around midnight, OBN III's went on, stinking of rock 'n' roll. On their new record, Third Time to Harm, the Austin quartet revives the attitude and whirling guitar solos of '70s radio rock without any corniness or pastiche involved. It helps that they play the stuff at above its speed limit, tapping beautifully into an untested vein in rock: Thin Lizzy as interpreted by Jay Reatard.

On "Uncle Powderbag," the album's creepiest song, OBN IIIs take a page from ZZ Top, riffing a low and sloppy line. When the chorus comes around—"Call my Uncle Powderbag / What I got you don't want"—I don't know what it is, but I don't want it. On, "No Time for the Blues," the album's best song, the title alone captures the OBN IIIs' vibe, putting it to test through 3 minutes of scorching guitar. With minimal pedals, Marshall stacks, SG' and Flying V's, OBN IIIs are holding down a very loud and badass tradition in rock 'n' roll.

Also, shout out to whoever's putting their stickers inside the bowls of the Hi Tones toilets. That is a dangerous game.

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