Reviewed by: TenaciousListening
OBE’s debut album, Partners, is an exhausting piece of work. The ideas flow thick and fast, the dual guitar attack is full of imaginative melodies and counter melodies whilst the rhythm section thankfully, lest they completely run away from each other, holds them together with generally simpler arrangements. Or that is the feeling I sometimes got while listening to this album. In actual fact the often-separate guitar parts are expertly crafted to compliment each other while they could easily stand up on their own.
This is instrumental math rock, with leanings towards the heavier side of things and a smattering of tremolo picked parts that hint at some post-rock inspiration. There are no obvious crescendos, but the tracks build and build their sections between the bigger riffs and even the often-changing ideas fit well together without feeling forced.
Like any post-whatever album a fade in intro to the first riff is almost essential, but the riff that enters literally drags you towards a riff where the track, Antifragile, really starts. It’s big and before you know it things have dropped down into quieter waters and begin to build. The rest of the album follows this schizophrenic pattern; you never know quite what is coming next, but when it does it is exactly what you expected, but you are surprised as you didn’t expect your expectations to be met!
The way these guys progress the music is brilliant and Partners is definitely one of those albums that you have to listen to a number of times before the tracks take on their own identity. Not because everything sounds the same, but because the whole thing works together so well. If I had to give you a few highlights then they have to be Standard Fog, Backcracker, and Bay of Pigs Memorial Dance; but that’s only as you asked, the hooks come thick and fast and by the time one’s gone another is on its way.
Even though the tracks are brilliantly formed, the melodies intriguing and the riffs driving, you get the feeling that this band is one to catch live. I’ve been assured that they are and I’ll be sharing a stage with them at the end of April so I’ll get to see. If you like your music heavy and technical with a whole lot of fun thrown in then you cannot fail to love Obe.