In September, 2011, Ohbijou return with their third album: Metal Meets. To be released in North America by Last Gang (Metric, Crystal Castles, New Pornographers), Metal Meets is the band’s most mature and creative offering. Recorded by acclaimed producer, Jace Lasek (also of Besnard Lakes fame) in Montreal’s Breakglass Studios, Ohbijou presents an album that cements their status as one of the most important bands at work in Canada. Ohbijou is renowned for their devotion to the city in which they live. Their lyrics and sounds have always paid homage to Toronto. Metal Meets, however, was crafted during retreats out of their city’s confines. This album is inspired by ventures to cabins in the woods, travel across Asia, Europe and North America (as they headlined tours), and lyrical reflections on familial bloodlines that move across borders. Taking inspiration from territories traversed outside of familiar realms was invaluable. Ohbijou has produced their most thoughtful and experimental record. In Metal Meets listeners will hear the band struggle to realign their sound, using delays, distortions and reverbs to capture a more pensive and experimental relationship to music. This is an album that will draw new audiences while expressing commitment to devoted fans.
Conceptually, Metal Meets draws on sites populated by rumbling volcanoes, deep lakes and haunted waterfalls, metals torn from damp earth, and dark desires usually uncommitted to words (Mecija sings, for example: "A parsing of this blood to find myself in you"). This is a poetic offering. The band retreated from the familiar in order to test the limits of their craft and attend to detail in a way they had not before. As a result, each song on the album is housed in a matrix of experimental effects and timbres. Listeners and audiences will feel Ohbijou come of age with this album, and their adulthood is more precocious and imaginative than their youth.
Casey Mecija, her sister Jenny Mecija, James Bunton, Ryan Carley, Anissa Hart and Heather Kirby demonstrate a relationship to each other and their instruments that is emotive and zealous. The band’s familial-like structure and unwavering support for each other is evident. Casey Mecija is a practitioner of love songs. Here, her audience is privy to a moody, more experimental lyricism and her words bespeak a passionate, rebellious desire. While producing a more complex sound, these songs remain hopeful, at moments pop-infused, and always melodic. Mecija’s vocals are layered atop her band’s skilled instrumentation. Each band member meticulously conditions the album’s narratives with haunting arrangements. Unique to this album are song-writing contributions from Jennifer and Ryan. This is a resonant and infectious offering, guaranteed to satisfy the appetite of critics and audiences anxious for the band’s return.
~ written by Hannah Dyer
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