In 2011, Josh Flagg and the Obligations released their first album Devastate Me. The power-pop style of the music was nothing new, but the depth of the lyrics and the ability to get you hyped up or calm you down. Flagg’s EP features just three tracks but multiple listens are strongly encouraged.
The EP starts with the title track “Lights Out.” The trio of guitars starts out slow with just a simple riff and a drum beat, but it only picks up when Josh starts singing. People might complain about the lack of talent that it takes to play power chords and to write a rock ballad, but Flagg and his boys show that a rock band can be complex and deep while keeping the music simple.
“Black Ink Birds” has more of an early Foo Fighters feel but throws in some punk to make it their own. This might be the weakest track on the album, purely because it doesn’t capture me “as much” as the other two. But I love this song for the playfulness and excitement that it brings.
The final track, and by far the longest, is “Poison the Well.” All I could think about while listening to this track was “Broken Bones” by Rev Theory. The sounds are similar, but again, Flagg has found a way to make it his own. You have heard all of the sounds before and you can sometimes predict where the song will go. That being said, you are never bored with this EP and, personally, I listened through it four times before writing this and I am going to continue to listen to it afterward.
I am very excited for the full-length album to be released. This EP grabbed my attention, never let go and made me want to hear more. This is a perfect example of what an EP is supposed to be.
Tracks to remember: (All of them)
Tracks to forget: N/A
Rating: 8.9/10 (a full review of the album and an updated rating will be released later)
You can download the EP here, the full album will be released later this year.
Image from The Planetary Group PR