Jack Oblivian Heads Down to “Rat City”


Listen to MP3 of title
track, below.


By Blurt Staff


When you come to the Jack Oblivian party, you are going to
expect some pawn shops, bad intentions and low-down sleaze and on his new album
Rat City (due Sept. 13 from Big Legal
Mess/Fat Possum), he delivers. From
the feral existentialism of songs like “Rat City”
and “Mass Confusion” to the unhinged love songs with underlying sweetness like
“Girl on the Beach” to vignette-heavy songs like “Girl with the Bruises”, Jack
disembowels American roots music and the resulting deconstructed songs are tied
together with an undeniable groove that only a drummer could muster. He plays
much of the album’s instruments himself with a little help from some of his
friends and his storytelling skills have never been better.  Jack will celebrate
the album’s release with a performance at Goner Fest’s kickoff Thursday,
September 22nd. A U.S.
tour will be announced shortly.




The backstory: Memphis
based Jack Oblivian (aka Jack Yarber) was a founding member of the garage-bands
The Compulsive Gamblers and The Oblivans but he has contributed to a dizzying
array of projects over the years, including Andre Williams, Jack Oblivian &
the Tennessee Tearjerkers, The Cool Jerks, ’68 Comeback, King Louie & His
Loose Diamonds, Greg Oblivian & the Tip Tops, Jack Oblivian & The
Cigarillos, The Natural Kicks and Tav Falco’s Panther Burns.


Jack Yarber grew up in Mississippi
and after moving to Memphis,
he met Greg Cartwright and they formed the Compulsive Gamblers. The Oblivians
formed in 1993 as a side project to the Compulsive Gamblers – the members of
the Oblivians shared songwriting and each member supplied vocals, guitar work,
and percussion on albums, switching instruments during live shows. The
Oblivians lasted from 1993 until 1998, at which time Yarber and Cartwright left
the band to reform the Compulsive Gamblers. The second incarnation of the
Gamblers lasted from 1998 to 2003. Post-Oblivians,
Yarber formed the Tennessee Tearjerkers and recorded critically praised
releases for Goner and Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum. 



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