With eight people credited on the album and three voices sharing the chorus, you are in for one hell of a diverse journey when El Mopa unleashes its musical ventilation of the darker times on their third album, The Metal Years. Unlike its name suggests you are not in for a doom drenched screamo compilation but rather a private documentation expressed through Animal Collective psych folk, early 90’s Pavement indie and The Crossroads Band roots tinged rock.
However, don’t let the abundance of genres deter you from finding a solid standing in the sound. Once you clamber through emotionally disgruntled riffs you can find solace in good old fashioned hand clapping, vocal harmonies and breakout guitar lines on the title track, a heavily layered song that thrusts El Mopa into the realm of cello based metal.
You can also find comfort in soothing acoustic charm on “721”, where producer and bassist Emma Hoy takes the vocal lead and creates one of El Mopas most spare and elegant tracks exploring people’s never ending need to find a high. On “The Dead Certainty” a strong spidery guitar line paves way for a full throttle confrontation of instruments. While “Missing the Rush” sees bells and whistles open an experimental pop track.
Six years of producing, recording and mixing sees this accumulative, boundary pushing album turn a journey on the rougher side of life into a musical memoir that can be listened to as a complete playlist to satisfy any mood.