Jack Oblivian & The Dream Killers' Garage Rock Album Lost Weekend Gets The Adrenalin Pumping!

Memphis based "garage rocker" Jack (Yarber) Oblivian, formerly with Johnny Vomit & the Dry Heaves among other groups, recently released this adrenalin charge on Black & Wyatt Records and someone (I don't know who) sent it my way thinking I might like it even though the sound is, let's say "primitive" (no top, not much bottom, just some stuff in the middle) in a good way (some recorded to 4 track M.C.I.) but all of it purposefully squashed in a way that reminded me of Don Van Vliet ("Sweet Thang"), but maybe that's because the performances did too, though its far more punk-rocky and less bluesy.

Today was much needed room cleaning so I chose things I didn't need to sit between the speakers to evaluate, including both volumes of Third Man's incredible Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969 (review shortly) and I figured this might fit that bill and it sure did! The problem was once it started churning from the getgo I had to stop what I was doing to find out who this guy was and what was his history.

Lost Weekend's high energy, crowded, sometimes distorted guitar, bass, drums and keyboards is the antithesis of the low energy, precious and annoying stuff presented on "CBS Saturday Morning" that has me wondering what's happened to music. The rock-most tune "Lone Ranger of Love" with its "You Really Got Me" riff and surf guitar solo, caught my attention first and it was all downhill from there!

Well, Jack is 57 and no youngster but he puts to shame the low energy eyes to the ceiling (or to the ground) stuff I see each Saturday and this record definitely got the adrenalin going. It's what I'd expect to hear on Little Steven's Underground Garage channel (21) on SiriusXM. Yarber's Wiki page lists 9 previous albums including 7 solos, so he's been "around" for some time, mostly on the Sympathy For the Record Industry label.

I had more fun listening to this uptempo assault than the last stack of "audiophile" records I checked out that sounded really good but bored the crap out of me. This sounded bad but excited. There's hope for me yet. You can check this out this jittery, jumpy assault on Bandcamp and buy the record there for $19.00. After moving a dozen records from the "to listen" to the "discard" pile, this one's a keeper! I probably should have listened a few more times and analyzed before writing this, but too excited. BTW: the record was well-pressed, probably at Memphis Record Pressing. BTW: I was so keen to get this published, I put it in the wrong category so there are no knobs etc. Too late to change now.

Tom L's picture

..a couple of years ago. He's like a blast from rock 'n' roll's wild past. JPK, himself a talented Memphis guitarist/singer/songwriter, was in Jack's backing band for a while and they have toured Europe together.
Just ordered "Lost Weekend". Thanks, Michael.

flaimjeff's picture

..this site is leaps and bounds above the rest. You have me clamoring for my stash of Oblivian, Mono Men and King Khan records. Maybe I can get some chores done as well. On second thought..

Dennis Black's picture

Hi Michael! As the "Black" in Black and Wyatt records, we really appreciate your review. There is a lot of great music in Memphis like Jack's. It is our mission to record it and get it out to the public on high-quality vinyl. We're big fans of yours and dedicated analog junkies. Thanks!!!

MrGneiss's picture

Record ordered!! :-D

Richardharmer's picture

For those interested in soul/blues, check out The Teskey Brothers, an Australian band, who have just released their 2nd album. Their music is fantastic, both albums are recorded to tape and sound great.

Jeffrey Lee's picture

The Teskey Brothers' country club blues has little in common with Oblivian. I don't see those twains meeting.

dg110233's picture

Thank you Richard Harmer for turning me on to The Teskey Brothers! I streamed both there lp's yesterday and they are great. I have both albums on order!!

Richardharmer's picture

Great! Glad you found them. Enjoy the records!

Richardharmer's picture

By the way, the album title Half Mile Harvest refers to the length of tape used to record the record.

Tom L's picture

...explains quite a bit about the sonics and origin of this LP: https://www.blackandwyattrecords.com/press-stories?tag=Jack+O+interview&...

AnalogJ's picture

But this is the sort of post that gets me excited as well, to find new music that has fallen under my radar. I lament the lack of really great new music nowadays in the pop and rock field.

Thanks for sharing this!

Michael Fremer's picture
Is this thread? AnalogPlanet has the best readers!
bdp24's picture

In the Dark Ages that were the 1980's, there was a great Garage Band out of Boston named The Lyres. The leaders name was Jeff Conolly, but he went by the name Mono Man. They made some good albums, but were much better live. One of the most exciting bands I've ever seen actually, and I saw The Who with Keith Moon (twice)!

Johnny Drunk's picture

Don’t forget DMZ and the real kids ;)

bdp24's picture

Right you are, Johnny! I gave a listen to everything Greg Shaw at Bomp Records recommended, including the two you mention. I have albums by both DMZ (also led by Jeff Connoly, pre-The Lyres) and The Real Kids (another Boston band).

bdp24's picture

Jeff was living in San Diego for awhile there in the 90's. I saw The Lyres at Club Lingerie on Sunset, the same venue in which I saw The Blasters back Big Joe Turner. Another highlight of my Rock 'n' Roll show life!

Also saw The Long Ryders there, where I was introduced to a young Lucinda Williams by the band's fan club president. She was at the time married to Greg Sowders, their drummer, and hadn't yet gotten her WB deal, let alone a big hit record. Her two Folkways albums were out though, and she was at the time working on her Rough Trade album, a great one.

Johnny Drunk's picture

Small world, I met LW in 1999 -a friends roommate was a sessions bass player for her in Houston.
Dave Alvin....madman!
I live in a very small Texas town now so it’s great to hear people talking about the fringe.

mycophile's picture

I like this stuff! But -

If this were played at an audio show, it would almost surely clear the room.

And if an audio journalist were there, the exhibitor would be dinged in the journalist's coverage of the exhibitor!

mycophile's picture

I should qualify that. Most audio journalists.

recordhead's picture

Got it in the mail yesterday.

Johnny Drunk's picture

So happy to see a review that I relate to.
Check out the early Compulsive Gamblers stuff.
Thanks again MF-er