Opus Däi

Touch The Sun EP

Written by: TL on 13/08/2009 14:24:23

Recently I hinted that I was working on a review of an EP, released by Los Angeles newbies Opus Däi back in May. The EP, titled "Touch The Sun", had been lost in the vastness of my inbox and the inconsistency of my memory and hence I only recently found it and started to listen to it. So let's waste no more time and get down and dirty shall we?

The record opens up massively with it's strongest track "Sandcastles". The sound of it can be best described by having you imagine Muse or The Mars Volta suddenly abandoning their experimentation and just going for some straightforward, kickass songwriting instead. A brief, chuggy post hardcore riff and then we're off with some "Knights Of Cydonia"-ish shredding and some impossibly high pitched vocal work from singer Tim Neighbors. The thing just gallops past without looking back, and words like "fireworks" and "powerplay" pass before your inner eye as you try to recover from this punch-to-the-gut of an opener. What a way to start!

The next song however, while trying to achieve more or less the exact same thing as the opener, does ease up on the power a bit, and allows room for brief periods focused on Matt Bellamy-ish subtle falsetto singing. It's still cool and it still rocks, but it is honestly a notch below the opener. Nevertheless, the following "The Day The World Stopped Turning" strikes a more epic chord, and the mellower parts, that are sandwiched in between more over the top choruses, bring The Parlor Mob's more classically tinged rock'n'roll to mind. Which, given the awesomeness of that band of course isn't a bad thing at all.

Next up is a two minute atmospheric track called "Cry Of Architeuthis" - which does seem a little odd on an EP that's only four tracks long, but it doesn't detract anything from the impression made so I'm not going to deduct points for it. After it, the record then closes with its title track, and again we're treated to some mellow acoustics similar to those heard on occasion from The Parlor Mob. The difference here is that this song actually stays mellow for the majority of its duration, only slowly progressing to another climatic display of Tim's excessive vocal range.

Taking a view from the top, I have to say that there are numerous things that make Opus Däi one of the more interesting upcoming bands I've heard lately. They seem to have the proper level of ambition in their attempt to marry the sounds of bands I've already mentioned, with some of the OTT schizophrenia of.. well, J-Rock bands - courtesy of guitarist Atsushi Miyamoto's heritage I guess? Add the fact that they also seem to be serious about packaging their music with some rather intriguing imagery and what's not to like? Okay so granted, their songs are still a bit simple around the edges, and Neighbors' vocals, impressive and attitude-filled as they may be, are also oddly sharp in some places and oddly slurred in others. However, I believe that at least the latter 'problem' might actually turn as many fans on to the band as it turns away, simply because it's a rather unique touch to them. He might want to try and be a little more subtle in some places to add some more depth to his expression, but this is merely a small suggestion - not a big complaint. So anyway, keep it up guys, at let's hope that your debut LP will be just as fascinating as that imagery of yours, because I for one really like that stuff.


Download: Sandcastles, The Day The World Stopped Turning,
For The Fans Of: Muse, The Parlor Mob, Cleo Malone, The Mars Volta
Listen: myspace.com/opusdai

Release Date May 2009
Fantom Limb / acropolisRecords

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