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Oddnote

Oddnote

Review by Gary Hill

This is a new band just formed last summer. There are ways you can hear that in the music. For one thing, there are a few places where their influences are worn prominently on their sleeves. That's not uncommon for bands just finding their way. So many acts have first albums that sound like other bands, but eventually start to find their own way. Another aspect is that to some degree this feels uneven, like a band searching for its identity. Both of those things notwithstanding, though, these guys create some killer hard rock. They border between blues rock, heavy metal, punk, grunge and psychedelia. They never fail to deliver, but do seem to lack direction just a little. Also, the set seems a little over-dependent on the psychedelic backtracked interludes that get a little tedious a times. Still, this is a band that shows great promise. If they are this good after less than a year, imagine what they will sound like in three years or ten.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Timeless
This is just a weird little ambient introduction that's part psychedelia and part blues rock.
Money Comes, Money Goes
A cool fuzz soaked guitar sound opens this. The band power out from there into a riff-driven jam that's tasty. This is very much a hard rocker with a lot of blues rock in the mix.
Life Plays on Life
Now, this cut is very much stoner rock. It sounds so much like early Black Sabbath that it's scary. This is a screaming hot metal stomper.
Used
Very much a raunch and roll stomper, this is solid stuff. It works really well.
Peace of Mind
This is an odd piece of psychedelic weirdness. It's backwards tracked and downright creepy.
Icy Hell
If "Money Comes, Money Goes" was Sabbath influenced, this one finds its inspiration in Nirvana. It really does feel like something Cobain and company would have done, with a bit of psychedelia in the mix.
615
Punk and grunge merge on this cut. It alternates between mellower and more rocking sections. While this has its charms, it's not as strong as a lot of the rest of the material here.
Neurons
Another with a lot of punk rock in the mix, this is stronger. It's mainstream hard rock with a healthy helping of punk. Perhaps the New York Dolls would be a good reference point. It dissolves out into a bit of trippy psychedelia late in the piece.
Dimension 9
Another backwards tracked bit of psychedelic weirdness, this seems pretty closely connected to the ending section of the previous piece.
Why
This is a cool cut. It combines a mellower movement with a soaring, hard rocking one. It has a lot of classic old school hard rock in the mix, but also some modern sounds, too. There is some psychedelia and space rock here, but overall this lands more in the mainstream hard rocking zone.
Reckless Movement
Here is another that qualifies as heavy metal. It's a dark and mean sounding piece. There is still some psychedelia in the mix here. This is rather strange, but also so cool.
Smoke Break

Here we get another short interlude. Like the rest, it's psychedelic oddity. It is also another that's backwards tracked.

Bad Tabs
A raunch and roll stomper with plenty of psychedelia and fuzz in the mix, this is a strong cut. It's one of the standouts here.
Laser Beam
While this has some weird psychedelic things here, the main guitar riff on it makes me think of AC/DC. This seems to ride a border between punk, metal and psychedelic rock. It's noisy, fierce and quite cool. They include a weird dropped down section mid-track that definitely emphasizes the psychedelic aspect of it. The hard rocking section returns long enough to provide an abrupt ending to the album.
 
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