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Scaring the country folks of Memphis with their brand of sleazy raunch & roll since their 1995 debut album, Soul Food, the Oblivians refuse to mold into the stereotype of three-piece ensembles sounding "wimpy" or "watered down." Instead, the Oblivians pay tribute to the Ramones, the Sonics, and the Stooges by creating their own sound of nostalgic '60s garage punk with their use of lo-fi equipment. Following Soul Food, the next year brought a live studio collection entitled Sympathy Sessions and their second album, Popular Favorites. Continuing on with their unorthodox lineup of two guitars and drums, the Oblivians collaborated with keyboardist Mr. Quintron on the appropriately titled Play 9 Songs with Mr. Quintron in 1997. It was the group's last studio set, as Greg Oblivian (aka Greg Cartwright) and Jack Oblivian chose to re-form their earlier band, the Compulsive Gamblers; Sympathy for the Record Industry released an official non-Crypt best-of in 1999 called The Best of the Worst: 93-97; Melissa's Garage Revisited followed a year later. Many other projects followed the breakup, including the long-running Greg Oblivian-fronted band the Reigning Sound as well as work with the Detroit Cobras and with original Shangri-Las singer Mary Weiss on her late-2000s comeback album, Dangerous Game. Oblivians member Eric Friedl continued to run the increasingly successful Goner Records label and its affiliated store, working with future stars like Jay Reatard. In 2009 the Oblivians re-formed to play shows with the also reunited trash rockers the Gories, and by 2012 it was confirmed that they would be working on a new studio album. That album, Desperation, materialized in 2013 on In the Red Records.
© Mike DaRonco /TiVo
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