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Obits Settle In At Sub Pop

Obits, a new New York band led by Drive Like Jehu/Hot Snakes principal Rick Froberg, has signed with Sub Pop and will release its label debut early next spring.

The group is working with Girls Against Boys’ Eli Janney and Geoff Sanoff at Brooklyn’s Seaside Lounge studio on the as-yet-untitled effort. Live versions of the songs “Talking to the Dog” and “Widow of My Dreams” can be sampled on Obits’ MySpace site.

Froberg is flanked in the group by guitarist/vocalist Sohrab Habibion, bassist Greg Simpson and drummer Scott Gursky. Fans of Jehu and Hot Snakes should feel right at home with the new music, which is powered by dark, garage-y riffs, sturdy grooves and Froberg’s unhinged vocals.

“A lot of what we have in this band is what we were kind of looking for,” says Froberg, who began playing with the other members after Hot Snakes disbanded in 2006. “I don’t know if we really knew it. We wanted a situation where we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted.”

Sub Pop signed Obits after it had only played a handful of shows, with Sub Pop GM/A&R Chris Jacobs basing his decision on nothing more than a live bootleg of the first-ever gig. “His previous bands are amongst my very favorite bands ever,” he says of Froberg.

To tide fans over before the album, Obits will self-release a 7-inch single, “One Cross Apiece,” this fall. The group is also planning some East Coast shows with the Night Marchers, featuring Froberg’s longtime collaborator John Reis.

In other Sub Pop news, the label has signed “freak folk” outfit Vetiver, whose label debut is due early next year.