Published Jan 01, 2006At one time Toronto/Mississauga's tightest East coast revival act, the Meligrove Band had only to step out from behind the curtain of their influences for the spotlight to drop. Whether by a churning of the cosmos or the good sense of local talent-spotters, the band suddenly found major-indie V2 poised to launch their third album, the artistically ambitious and catchy-as-hell Planets Conspire.
"We had this record almost done," says drummer Darcy Rego "and [V2 employee Eric Warner] just thought, Why not burn me whatever you've got and I'll show it to the people?' They loved it. It was a total shock and surprise."
Sprawling and smartly arranged, the album sounds like it could easily be the result of studio plotting it was actually recorded in bedrooms and basements, with production work by friend José Contreras of By Divine Right. The band have laid their idols to rest and come into their own. "After going to the East coast extensively, we realised that the scene we liked from there is dead and gone. It was the realisation that something we idolise can come and go. Subconsciously, I think, it taught us you have to really forge something of your own while you have the time to do it," says multi-instrumentalist Andrew Scott.
Arranged with the linking of the whole in mind, it was ironically the abandonment of single searching in favour of an artful, thematically consistent approach to album writing that courted success. Stranger still, the album's hooks turned out strong as super glue vindictive pop fans should gear up their "told you sos," because when the first single hits the airwaves, contrarians will be powerless to pry it from their heads. The band themselves are keen but pragmatic about the prospect of mainstream success. "We're moving to the next stage, and none of us have been there before," Andrew says. "We don't know what the boss is gonna be like at the end of the level." Fortunately, the band are without the risk of becoming one-hit ephemera with or without fame and fortune as a reward, in Planets Conspire they've made good.