Saturday, 16 January 2010

Black America EP
Rating: 2/5

Without knowing what to expect, I was rather blown away by the opening title track for this new EP by Oddyssey. Despite appearing to leap headlong into the Indie-rock aesthetic, it continually surprises with neat punk/grunge breaks, a tight chorus and even some great guitar noodling at around the 3:15 mark. By contrast, he second track, ‘Companion’, sounds a little bit too Abba to really be interesting to me, and burnt itself out without leaving any impression.

‘Jalan’, then is a welcome relief. Though I doubt that they’ve heard of it, it sounds like the modal guitar experimentations of contemporary Steve Vai albums, and the harmonic minor strings and riffing are unavoidably catchy. I can’t help thinking that more could have been done with the guitar parts, but it’s a great song nonetheless.

From the big chords that herald its arrival, I had hoped that the closer, ‘Marching Orders’ would be a return to the form of the opener. What the song actually sounds like is a verse of sub Flogging Molly/ Dropkicks snare-heavy quasi-punk followed by an inexplicably ‘disco-Indie’ chorus only kept from sounding like a Yeah Yeah Yeahs b-side by the energetic yelps of the singer. If you like the kind of Indie rock where they insist on having ‘art’ somewhere in their genre description, you’ll love this. If that doesn’t appeal, then just satisfy yourself by getting the title track. It’s ace.

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