It’s hard to not read too much into Obnox’s upcoming LP, Know America. A concept record that has Obnox and crew highjacking the feed of Radio 420 AM WEDE in order to see their records finally spun, it’s clear that the record is about the current state of music, about race, about the integrity of musicians and the businessmen that make music their racket. Tired of being pigeonholed, ripped off, cheated, exploited, or — worst of all — neglected, Obnox is taking matters into his own hands, forcing his brand of punk on America. The great irony of it all is that Obnox’s Lamont Thomas chooses to place this within the confines of a radio station. Surely, Thomas understands the diminishing place that radio — even more humorous that he chooses an AM station — plays in the most of our lives, so doesn’t this give the record a sort of antiquated nostalgia? I’d argue against this. Much like radio, the musical landscape has changed. For all of the advantages that digital platforms and social media have brought to music, I think that Thomas has highlighted an important idea: that with the so-called death of the radio did the social role of music in our lives diminish as well? One thing is for sure, if only half the artists out there had even a fraction of the talent and drive of Thomas, music would be better for it.
Despite what you may assume, the record isn’t a pessimistic outlook, it is a call to action. In the end, the high jackers have only one demand, “We demand the quality of rock and roll improve for artistic and economic reasons that effect not only us musicians but the fans as well. Stop playing that garbage, rubbish, trash,” that’s not too much to ask for…is it?
Know America will be Obnox’s first release on the New York based Ever/Never Records, and is the second of the three planned LPs his has slated for this year.