Odonis Odonis – Hard Boiled Soft Boiled

Hard Boiled Soft BoiledOdonis Odonis’ second full length album Hard Boiled Soft Boiled is a literal antithesis; the album split in two to showcase the bipolarity of the Toronto based trio. While their debut Hollandaze was an ode to surfboards made of sheet metal, pumping waves of molten steel, Hard Boiled Soft Boiled builds upon the shoe-gaze and euphoric elements of their debut. It also creates a new brand of chaos, and one that differs from Hollandaze but retains the identity of Dan Tzenos’ original vision.

Throughout the relatively short 35-minute run time, there’s an obvious growth that's occurred since their debut release. It all begins in traditional Odonis fashion with opener “Tension”, which wastes none of the 40-seconds afforded to it, to create a wash of soaring dissonance. From there on in, every song from the Hard Boiled a-side sounds distant. Their harsh cacophony emerges from the depths of their computer; Tzenos’ voice rumbles as it courses between circuit boards and microchips before his gnarled and distorted melodies finally escape into the real world.

When the carnage is left to simmer for a few minutes, Odonis give us glimpses of what is yet to come. “Mr. Smith” harks back to the indie bands of the 2000s; every fibre seemingly poised to be played to a club full of dancing adolescents, which is by no means a bad thing.

It’s when the side is flipped and Soft Boiled tentatively steps into the limelight, starting with “Angus Mountain”, that an all-new side to Odonis Odonis is laid out for the listener.  Soft Boiled leads us into the eye of the storm. We’re still surrounded by a familiar sense that it could all descend into pandemonium once more, yet we welcome the sigh of relief. You can happily enjoy Soft Boiled on its own merit. Each song is its own dreamlike odyssey into a world unknown. The constant swelling pads and feedback on “Transmission from the Moon” feels like a plethora of frequencies all fighting their way back to Earth, leading effortlessly into closer “Alexa Wait”, where Odonis patiently entrance the listener, letting them fall deeper into a void of their own making.

The album as a whole is euphoric, delinquent, chaotic and compelling. There are so many bands and genres that could help to describe the sound that Odonis Odonis create, but pinpointing a set sound is simply impossible. There are moments when the band’s influences are clearly worn on their sleeves, their sound owing homage to Big Black, My Bloody Valentine and Jesus and Mary Chain, but personally they also remind me of artists detached from the noise rock and shoegaze scene. “New Obsession” seems almost like a companion piece to The Mars Volta’s “The Malkin Jewel”, both songs sharing that jarring sense of abandonment to the listener’s tolerance for what they’ve come to expect. It’s this diverse array of influences not to mention a good dose of originality on Odonis’ part that make them so hard to categorize. Even after operating under the moniker of industrial surf-gaze, a name given to them when no other existed I would still deem them to be indescribable.

Release: 15th April 2014, Buzz Records

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  1. Odonis Odonis – Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled | Album review – Chris Mackin Writer - 02/02/2019

    […] Read the full review at DrunkenWerewolf. […]

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