Opopo Opopo

Toronto’s Opopo can teach young bands a thing or two about getting noticed in the early stages of a career. Though they’re relatively new to the game, in less than two years the hyperactive trio have found themselves opening up for the like-minded Klaxons and releasing this fine-tuned debut for Urbnet. The key to Opopo is their unrivalled energy. Equal parts rave, electro, punk and new wave, over the eponymous EP’s six cuts they never allow the party to die — and I’m guessing if the cops were to show up they would be shot-gunning Old Milwaukees, with glow sticks and candy necklaces as part of their uniform. Instead of settling for the same old standard, stagnant synth pop or bombard us with any more electro house, Opopo come out playing a blithe version of Primal Scream’s XTRMNTR. The guitars are spiky, the bass lines stout, the synths oscillate without control and the beats come with an array of different patterns and off-kilter tempos to encourage dance floor abandon. That said, their playfulness and lack of inhibitions result in some terribly empty lyrics ("She’s freaky nasty,” "Disco! Chaos!”), which threaten to kill the high. But if you’re off your head, high on energy drinks, Opopo have more than enough in their arsenal to keep the momentum going.

You were all in a high school ska band before Opopo. How did you apply that to Opopo?
Guitarist Bryan Sutherland: All three of us were in that band but OPOPO was a fresh start. We tried to leave the raw enthusiasm behind but it stuck with us, so we rock out just as hard as we used to. That first run gave us a taste for playing shows and pursuing music together, but now we have more determination and focus. The tone has become much darker too, and a plot is beginning to unfold.

What made you choose not to bring in a live drummer for your gigs?
Electronic beats are very malleable and the consistency of a programmed kick can be very hypnotic. It’s an awesome rush hearing your own beats blast through a house system while ripping on synths, bass and guitar. We haven’t abandoned live percussion, and will eventually work some into the set. Ultimately, humans drum better than machines — no question. Any robots out there care to challenge?

Are Opopo a party band first and foremost? Well, art is at the centre of party, and there are many people in the world who take partying seriously. We have our fun but remain focused on the progression of the music. (Urbnet)