I’m Bleeding Now
Smog Veil

Lamont “Bim” Thomas, the one man as band responsible for Obnox, is best known as half of the Bassholes, as well as drummer for Cleveland’s This Moment in Black History. (He also manned the skins for little-known Columbus outfit Flipping Hades for a spell.) Though his beat-beating has been an integral component of the Bassholes’ craggily blues uptakes, he’s largely been content to provide the rhythmic backbone to Don Howland’s yowling. But for I’m Bleeding Now, he’s stepped out from behind his kit to play damn near everything (as well as drums). And while there’s some passing resemblance to the Bassholes—he even covers their “Daughter” and Howland’s “The Cowboy and Cowgirl”—even their noisiest blues deconstructions are no preparation for the sonic mindfuck Bim’s created here.

Pressed to just 500 vinyl copies, Smog Veil may be underestimating this record’s appeal. Or perhaps I’m just overestimating the number of people who enjoy getting their lids blasted off by gloriously sculpted white noise. But make no mistake, there’s melody and song structure at work here too, only such qualities are in a constant tug-of-war with Bim’s predilection toward cacophony. The record fades in on “Cum Inside” with a backwards incantation that’s then shot through with holes of sonic explosions. The title track is a furious mix of Stooges grooves and swirling turbulence that ensconce his proclamations of “I never liked you anyway” and Iggy-ed whooping. Throughout the album, snippets of warped muttering create a distinct feeling of unease, but the Bleeding is never arty in its presentation. Rather, Bim goes for the throat at every opportunity. For example, “The Get It Inn” might have been a feel-good summertime ditty were Thomas not shredding it apart from the inside out. Indeed, one can hear everything from Bowie to Albini at work here, only completely digested and regurgitated in chunks.

It’s worth mentioning that Thomas recorded the whole record on four-track, which seems a feat given its piecemeal composition. It’s even more impressive given the cadence of the album, which while fuzz-coated is nonetheless clearer than most ProTools hack-jobs. CDR honcho Adam Smith’s mixing is no doubt responsible.

It’s also worth mentioning that Thomas’ version of “Daughter” is every bit as striking as the original. Bim, sounding not unlike Howland, sticks to the original version’s twangy inflections, only he musses it up with hairy guitars. “Gin and Coke Water,” though, is even fuzzier. It’s all thunder and fury, like the Melvins if they loosened up a whole lot. One gets the sense that there was no holding back when Bim made this record, as if he tapped directly into his synaptical impulses. I guess I’m not surprised that Bim had this record in him, I just never knew he had it in him. Thankfully he let it all out.
Stephen Slaybaugh