You might just want to clear some space on your alt-rock playlist.
Sure, "Superman's Dead," "Clumsy" and other classic Our Lady Peace songs still belong there, but expect to be knocked out when you hear the songs from the band's latest release, "Curve." "Fire in the Henhouse," featuring haunting lead and bass guitar interplay, and "Mettle," that weaves keyboards, strings and some spoken dialogue around band founder Raine Maida's always indelible vocals, are just two of the standout tracks.
"I think the band has been doing it long enough that it's become more open with experimentation," said lead guitarist Steve Mazur. "You learn you can't regard anything as too precious."
Ever since the band's 1994 debut, it has worked to honor its past while moving ahead musically.
|Our Lady Peace|
|Date: 8 p.m. Saturday|
|Venue: 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW|
|Info: $25; 877-435-9849; 9:30.com|
"Like 'Barton Fink,' this is our boxing album," said Maida in a press statement, referencing the 1991 movie. "It's like a rite of passage. We made a conscious decision not to take the easy path. It's all about authenticity, proving we're still relevant. This is our journey now, the most realized version of the band. 'Curve' is the record we've been trying to make for the past 10 years."
Take "Fire in the Henhouse." The bandmates had worked for months on the song -- originally called "The Wolf" -- before it truly took shape and became what may well become another fan favorite from the band.
"It is pretty hard to deny that it sounds very different than the music the band has done before," said Mazur. "There are a lot of interesting things on that song, some tones and parts are very different than what we've done before."
Not that the band has abandoned its classic sound. You'll hear that on the latest album, too, including on the heavy rocker "Mettle." Plus, the band incorporates fans' requests -- sent through social media -- into the sets that change each night.
Writing about a recent Cleveland concert, Candis Hecking of the Cleveland Leader noted that the band and the fans rocked the night away during the 14-song set.
"The fans seemed to be singing along to every word. Personally I had forgotten just how much I enjoy the music from Our Lady Peace," wrote Hecking. "Hearing old songs such as "Clumsy", "Starseed" and "Superman's Dead" reminded me why I'm a fan."