Presumably, a good-looking, highly intelligent person like yourself is very familiar with the adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Thing is, what might be applicable to a functioning washer/dryer, chainsaw, food processor or high-end vibrator has absolutely nothing to do with the artistic ambitions of a rock’n’roll band worth giving a fuck about. Some might choose to argue the point, but no one is going to mistake the 2015 OBN III’s with a washer/dryer, chainsaw, food processor or high-end vibrator.
It is well established at this point OBN III’s are a vehicle for the songs & performances of Orville Bateman Neeley III. Thru 3 studio albums for Chicago’s Tic Tac Totally, 2 live albums and a impressive pile of 7”’s for sundry global labels, not to mention chaotic live exhibitions that ranged from the slightly confrontational to the very confrontational, the Austin based OBN III’s have long been considered the great angry hope of the U.S. underground. So, you might well ask, "why break something that doesn’t require fixing?”
That’s the kind of question I’d expect from a total coward (and I thank you for not asking it out loud). It takes real fortitude & courage to detonate a wildly successful formula, to part way with players as talented as Messers Cashen, Smith and Low, and instead, return to the fray with a twin guitar juggernaut in the form of ‘Worth A Lot Of Money’, the most fully realized, unrelenting OBN III’s album to date. For a guy with zero to prove in the songwriting sweepstakes, Neeley’s emerged with both the catchiest and most raging material of his 29 years, and however many echoes you might catch of say, Thin Lizzy, Rose Tattoo or Sonics Rendezvous Band, the current quartet of Neeley (now on guitar + vocals), guitarist Tom Triplett (The Real Energy, Snooty Garbagemen, Blaxx), bassist Michael Andrew Goodwin (Massagenist, Low Times) and Marley Jones (ex-Sweet Talk) are ridiculously locked in.
Recorded with the assistance of producer Mike McCarthy (Cherubs, Spoon, A Giant Dog), though ‘Worth A Lot Of Money’ might be a quantum leap forward in recording quality for this band, there’s no trickery in action, as anyone who’s seen these guys on multiple continents over the last year can attest. In Triplett, Neeley’s got a virtuoso-level guitar foil ; in Goodwin & Jones, the foundation for, well, greatness. That’s the goal, anyway.
Anyhow, public relations puffery’s a blast and everything, but I’d be very out of place calling the OBN III’s the best rock band in America. For starters, that’s your job, not mine.