Obadiah, Rebirthday (El Deth)
Local label El Deth emerges from hibernation with the release of these 2005 sessions by the band Obadiah, featuring prolific El Deth head Arrison Kirby on keyboards and electronics. It's a welcome return—Rebirthday is a lucid, laid-back but still tense disc of jazz with an undercurrent of funk. The eight songs are all based on conventional song structures interrupted by passages of improvisation, lending a progressive edge to the main guitar-dominated fusion-influenced themes. Rebirthday is both accessible and challenging—the occasional outbursts of skronk or Kirby's electronics never outweigh the album's old-fashioned melodicism, and the dark undertones are balanced by the disc's leisurely pace and confident tone.