Title: Science Progresses One Funeral at a Time
Release: LP / Digital
Label: Zegema Beach Records
Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, OBROA-SKAI play a unique mix of emoviolence, infused with noise and no-wave elements in their songwriting. Ever since their self-titled 2019 release, they have been releasing some pretty awesome stuff, including a four-way split with Sonagi, Coma Regalia and Indisposed, and a split with Ysidro. 2023 is their time to shine with their debut album with the help of Zegema Beach Records.
The album starts with five minute noise of “soft rains”, a single rainfall gradually growing into a rattling rain storm, with a distorted spoken word lamenting the world affected by climate change, then repeating the whole lament with a plummeting rage, with a hint of death industrial acts such as Pharmakon, Oboa, and Puce Mary. Only then do we get pulled into screamo territory.
“It must have been beautiful” explores the themes of climate change deeper, with their vocalist/bassist Amy stating:
I wrote this song when we as a band were driving back from ZBR Fest 2019. We were traveling through Jasper National Park, and I noticed many pine trees were this rusted orange colour. As if the whole landscape was either dead and dying. We were talking about writing a full length so I figured the first song should be about witnessing the slow decay of the boreal forest caused by climate change.
“1928 – 1972” is a reference to the controversial Sexual Sterilization Act enacted by Canadian feminist/eugenist Emily Murphy, who also helped create the War on Drugs, as well as her racism, which ultimately contradicts her value as a feminist. To add insult to injury, a statue was created for her in the park in Edmonton.
The album also tackles colonialism (“blink,” “one hundred and fifty years,” “home”), existential crisis (“another world is possible,” “void”), environmental issues (“next door”), and includes an interlude of an ambient track (“syncope”) before closing with the last two tracks.
Science Progresses One Funeral at a Time is an elegant eleven-track album that is packed with a handful of straightforward sucker punches and wastes no time in locking your attention. There is no doubt that a mix of screamo and noise fits so perfectly. If you’re a fan of Hiretsukan, Amygdala and Welcome The Plague Year, you’ll definitely love this. OBROA-SKAI is a must for screamo die-hards everywhere.