The legend of Lamont “Bim” Thomas (Bassholes, Puffy Areolas, This Moment in Black History and X___X) continues with a couple of recently released titles for his solo project Obnox.
Currently in his third decade of recording, the local multi-instrumentalist put out Templo del Sonido, with Bang Messiah quickly following. The former was released by Austin, Texas label Astral Spirts, the latter by Cleveland’s Smog Veil Records.
“I had a lot of stuff in 2017, so I kind of held these last two records back,” Thomas said. “I just put out Templo del Sonido in August. That’s kind of the noisy, experimental improv rock record, kind of trying to get the rock dudes back on my side after a lot of beatnik and stuff.
“Then for people who like the more black look at rock ’n’ roll with the hip-hop influence, we’ve got the Bang Messiah LP.”
Oddly enough, Thomas recorded Templo del Sonido for the jazz-based Astral Spirits label, which rarely works with rock acts. The project is described as improv rock with melody and political overtones.
As for Bang Messiah, which bounces between punk, psych, funk and hip-hop, that’s decidedly more pop and a little less noisy. The 12-track effort was recorded by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio.
“Every now and then I’ll go into a big studio, but for the most part I normally record at my buddy’s house,” Thomas said. “It’s like, weird. I’ve been to the bigger studios and sometimes I feel like punk doesn’t really live there. But, if you’re good, you can get some good results.
“Making grime-y punk records is one thing, and at my age, I kind of want to do something nice every once in a while and have some fun.”
Bang Messiah, which features numerous contributions, including MFKN RMX the Bang Messiah providing beat production and programming for the record, finds Thomas speaking his mind in ways that defies today’s PC world as well as goes against punk ethics.
“It’s just the willingness to use the N word and not give a shit who finds it offensive,” Thomas said. “Everybody is offended about something. Or, being in a punk band and being willing to sing about love. Everybody goes through their thing with love and some people can’t articulate it in a song, but shit, I’ve had a weird couple of years.
“I’m single now. It’s not easy, but sometimes you know, expressing yourself with the music you can understand what went wrong or maybe even feel better inside being creative and taking your mind off of things. A lot of people aren’t even willing to utter the L word in a song. They think it’s corny, but it’s real. So I’m keeping it real, fuck it.”
While some artists would feel compelled to book an album release show, that’s not Thomas’ bag.
“I don’t think I ever really had a proper release party,” Thomas said. “I don’t even know who would come to something like that. I don’t just go on the Internet trying to get people to follow me. I like to think people still follow music, follow bodies of work made by artists, real artists, not just people that are popular now.
“Some of those people are like, ‘I’m an artist. I should get this and that.’ It’s like, you’ve been doing this shit for a few years. You have a little Internet hype or whatever, but where is the real body of work? Where is the collection of songs? Who’s turning a real phrase? Who’s punching a real rhythm with some skill and some funk? I mean, there are people doing it, but not so often in the underground rock world.”
Spoken like a true legend.