Single: Obsidian Hearts – A Master Plan

Obsidian Hearts is an extremely rare two piece ska punk band out of Bakersfield, California. The duo first formed in 2008 but stepped away from music to focus on raising their nonverbal ASD daughter. Over the past year their life has stabilized enough to re-engage with their musical passions, and they returned in full stride; they’ve already dropped 4 new originals and a cover in the last 3 months.

“A Master Plan” is the most recent of these songs, dropping on June 19th, but by the time I finish writing this review they may very well already have another surprise song drop. You won’t be catching any horns in this ska band, or even keyboards. Instead you’ll be getting fast paced drums, some surf influenced guitar riffs, some reverb heavy, echoed, and layered vocal tracks that feel almost disorienting, and plenty of drums and bass on the off beats. Listening to their singles, this feels like the most punk rock of the singles, and while they all fit well together, but they also feel like they are growing faster, and building tension as they go. This track in particular feels, in lyrics and compositionally, feels like it’s getting to the end of a rope. Tension is building, and you can tell it’s going somewhere, but it’s always on the verge of erupting, and as the lyrics beg, “and all I’m asking for is a hand”. The tension between having a plan and never giving up, but also acknowledging you need help is real, and somehow the music delivers the message every bit as well as the lyrics.

I’m so excited to have been introduced to Obsidian Hearts and I can’t wait to hear what comes next and where this music goes from here. I love the aggressive, angry punk, the song construction, the aggressive surf punk core layers, and the subtle ska undertones. Something that makes you want to throw down and also pick it up. It’s a beautiful mix.

Written by Gimpleg