Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Review: Oddczar - One Word LP

Jesus Christ. This band is incredible. I have to say, if you've been keeping up with my reviews, you know that I've been handed an incredible hand lately when it comes to music reviews (and I've done my best to give them the credit they deserve), but sweet Christ almighty... This band is good. And guess where they're from? Charlotte, NC. Yeah. I actually met Matt Brandon (their vocalist) in High School. Crazy how life works. 

One Time For Ya Mind:

"Samsquanch" - Wow. I haven't heard an opening song this good since the beginning of Modern Life Is War's Witness. I can't explain what this song does to me in terms of my psyche and emotional health, but I'll give it a shot. The picking at the beginning makes my skin crawl, and the production is spot on. The mixing of the vocals is perfect, reflecting the rough, cutting lyrics with throaty screams. The drums, pounding in the break in manic, measured blows, are like jabs to the face, while the beautiful melody plays on. Hands down, this song is not only my favorite on the album, but maybe my favorite of all time. "So I breathed you in just to breathe you right back out because our hearts were never one."

"Bud Brothers" - Vocal rhythms. That's what this song is about. When Matt screams the syncopated, "I can't sit still for two fucking minutes," I just about lost it. Mood. That's what Oddczar does best. I don't really know Matt, or any other members of this band, but when that line is screamed, I can feel the emotion, the tension, the dread. Wow.

"Sidesex" - Awesome song name. Other than that, the 1:17 that this song lasts is the most introspective, aggressive, emotional breakdown I've heard in a long time. "I don't remember seeing you without seeing through the holes in us." Killer line. Lyricism in hardcore hasn't been this good since American Nightmare. 

"Junaluska" - From the intro of this song, all the way through, there's a sense of beauty, but beauty that's covering up some other, much less happy scene. There's pain in this track. Very rarely can a band convey pain from the artist to the listener, but Oddczar has proved us all wrong. "Another couple months, and I'll come undone... We're all we've fucking got." The futility of love, covered in the beauty of this track, is displayed like nothing I've ever heard before. 

"Nineteen" - The lead guitar on this track is the most frantic, anxious, dread-inducing thing I've heard in hardcore music in years. This isn't a shocking, slasher movie, this is Hitchcock. This is the dread that resides. I swear to God I almost had a panic attack just listening to this track. Again, if any band has ever been able to capture pain, it's Oddczar. "It's so cold in here; it's so quiet." 

"One Word" - This is the most hardcore-rooted song on the album, and literally sounds like it was recorded in the same session as Give Up The Ghost's We're Down Til We're Underground. The emotion is high, the tension is high, and the lyricism deals more with the loss of love than any other track. Matt captures perfectly the alternating heartbreak and apathy that occur during the breakup of lovers, and the coping of it, while the guitars chug and strum haphazardly. The drums, with perfectly timed fills, remain the backbone of the entire orchestra that is Oddczar. This is one, unified, amazing effort. 

"My Lips Are Seals" - One of my favorite hardcore music devices is feedback with a snare roll to start off a song. Did it. After 1:30 of concentrated, measured hardcore and strained vocals, a beautiful break begins, breaking the heart of everyone in the Southeast. "I guess that I'm fine. I miss, I need you around... Believe me, I'm sorry." It's not sappy in the slightest, but if you don't choke up at all, you're dead. 

"Russian Girls" - "A piece of you has stayed in every bad decision I've made." A lofty statement to make, this opening line is anchored by the jammy, groove-heavy guitars and bass that lead this track to a complete and utter, self-destructive demise. "I'd rather be refused than to be a recluse." And that's it. The end of the album. 

Wow. When asked to do this review, I was simply excited to write on another Charlotte band, but I've been proved wrong by Oddczar. Not only is this a hometown review, this is a review of the most cohesive, beautiful, painful, aggressive, subtle hardcore album I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. I shouldn't even have to tell you this, but BUY THIS.