Hailing from Asheville, North Carolina onj. is a four-piece post-rock band consisting of Marklar (guitar), Dylan (drums), Joel (guitar) and Sean (bass). They recently released a lo-fi self-recorded album entitled Opposition. It contains three songs that adhere to the fundamental staples of post-rock that fans of bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Explosions In The Sky will appreciate. Onj. is a pretty straightforward post-rock album that implements long songs with equally long reverbs that rarely go places you wouldn't expect. The biggest issue with the album is that the lo-fi production doesn't always work with the epic moments the songs contain. When the band plays soft it works but when they pile on the distortion, and the drums are hit harder the speakers can’t handle the full spectrum of frequencies being shoved through the cone. The high frequencies in particular are harsh, which is unfortunate because this is the type of music that demands to be played loud.
The album begins with “Northside,” which trickles it way into existence. The first minute or so is a barely audible hum, which fades in and out of existence, as it is changes pitch. Dylan adds a shimmering polish with his cymbals before the bands locks down on a somber passage of sound. The guitars are wet with reverb as the bass holds down the song with root notes. Around the five-minute mark the song starts to become more intense in a good way. At seven- and-a-half minutes is when the distortion is introduced and the band has epic intentions but the harsh frequencies are a bit too much too handle.
“Objects” is a heavily distorted song that fluctuates back and forth between intensity and brief release. It’s a good song all and all although it sounded a bit too familiar at times. “Corners” was the best sounding song on the album and also the highlight. The distorted guitar sounded better this time around and the band reaches some solid ground.
Overall onj. has a very strong foundation but needs some refinement. They still need to find the element that is going to separate them from the slew of post-rock bands out there and at some point will need to have a bit more polish to their recordings.
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