“we’re back” read the title of the email, from a sender named “obe”. Was it spam? I clicked and held my breath. Good call. obe is the band formerly known as Orders of the British Empire, whose last two EPs showed incredible promise and whose new EP, an album teaser, delivers on that promise. A lot has changed in the interim; the band has lost its second guitarist and changed its sound from straight-up post-rock to something altogether more rocking. These two tracks are exciting and bombastic. Summer is unofficially here, and LOUD is the new quiet again.
Like most post-rock, “Standard Fog” begins with an extremely long ambient section. Just kidding, it’s six seconds. Then the drum rolls begin, leading to an eruption of shredding guitar and smashing drums. (For those who know the Muppets: “What do you do, Animal?” “BEAT DRUMS!”) Then a minute of melody, a minute of sprinting, a minute and a half of construction (oo, prog!), then bash-bash-bash, happiness. It seems that the band has broken free of any perceived restraints and now just wants to let loose. “I Am the Cheese Baron!” allows the players a two-minute breather before diving in head-first with spy-film bass and driving drums. A minute later, woot! The guitars are off the leash. After a quick water break, it’s back to the drum rolls, a swift build, and sweet tandem rocking.
We expected a lot from obe, but this is much better than expected. We’re so proud of our padawan. There’s only one problem: obe still needs a second guitarist. This band is clearly on the rise, and this could be their year. If you think you’ve got what it takes, contact them at email@example.com. Welcome back, boys ~ so glad you weren’t spam! (Richard Allen)