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Progressive Rock - Released October 20, 2017 | felte

Arriving a little over a year after Post Plague, No Pop finds Odonis Odonis expanding on that album's aesthetic by trimming it back. Inspired by a Toronto music blogger's "no pop" manifesto, the trio streamlined their sound and recording process: Scrapping guitars in favor of synths and making the album in just three days, this is the least interested the band has been in obvious hooks or melodies on any of their four albums. As they continue the industrial direction of Post Plague, they remain inspired by the rawest side of human nature and sound even more comfortable transforming it into lengthy mood pieces like the dead-calm "Fluke" or the post-apocalyptic hedonism of "Vision." The band makes up for what No Pop lacks in catchy melodies in dense, almost tangible textures: The synths and beats on "Eraser," the album's most uncompromising track, range from rolling to chittering to smacking to strafing. Odonis Odonis don't forsake pop entirely on some of the album's finest moments. "Check My Profile," a skewering of social media's chilling effects, proves they still have a unique flair for setting snarling satire to irresistible beats. It's followed by "Nasty Boy," a grinding expression of pure id filled with shrieking, writhing tones that sound like black vinyl and leather rubbing against each other while klaxons blare in the distance. The band's music is nearly as polarized as it was on Hard Boiled Soft Boiled, with the clenched-jaw whispers of "One" and "By the Second" providing quietly riveting respites to the rest of the album's fury. Ultimately, No Pop's rapid gestation helps and hurts it; Odonis Odonis has never sounded so urgent before, but there are also times when the album feels unfinished and repetitive. Even if it's not as solid as Post Plague, it still shows their willingness to challenge themselves and their audience. ~ Heather Phares

Progressive Rock - Released April 12, 2019 | felte

Odonis Odonis wrote and recorded the Reaction EP while on tour in support of their 2017 album No Pop, and the adrenaline rush of performing for crowds courses through all four of its tracks. The trio taps into the most propulsive and gritty parts of No Pop, giving them an extra dose of snarling attitude for good measure. The deep, dark groove and caustic synths of "Collector" kick off Reaction with an air of unhurried menace, as if Odonis Odonis are toying with their listeners. The tease continues on "Promise," where they juxtapose Dean Tzenos' deadpan sneer with taut synths, a trick the band mastered on Post Plague (though it was their third album, it was a reinvention so complete that it might as well be their debut). Odonis Odonis finally releases some of Reaction's tension on "Insect," which along with Tzenos' shrieks, boasts some first-rate synth abuse and a sardonic stomp that echoes Wire's "I Am the Fly." By the time the EP closes with the smoldering grind of "Rip," Reaction offers more proof that Odonis Odonis are putting their stamp on industrial music in uncompromising but also surprisingly nuanced ways. ~ Heather Phares

Progressive Rock - Released March 8, 2019 | felte

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Progressive Rock - Released March 29, 2019 | felte

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Progressive Rock - Released June 17, 2016 | felte

On their early albums and EPs, Odonis Odonis' shape-shifting combinations of sounds meant they could sound like a completely different band from one song to the next. Usually, this was a feature, not a bug: their 2014 album Hard Boiled Soft Boiled, which put its aggressive songs on the first half and gentler ones on the second, earned a Polaris Music Prize nomination. However, their Felte debut Post Plague sounds like the work of just one act -- and a remarkably focused one at that. In keeping with the label's aesthetic, their third album is their darkest and sleekest yet. Instead of continuing the mix of noise, surf, shoegaze, and electronics found on Hollandaze and Hard Boiled Soft Boiled, they deliver ferocious industrial with a hint of dreamy synth pop. The tightly coiled synth arpeggios, serrated guitars, relentless beats, and desperate sarcasm on "Fearless" and "Vanta Black" (possibly the hippest way to describe ultimate darkness in the 2010s) show the band's total commitment to this sound and attitude. While industrial has always been an element of Odonis Odonis' music, Post Plague often has more in common with HEALTH or the Soft Moon than their previous work. In fact, the closest this album comes to the rest of their discography is the way it echoes Hard Boiled Soft Boiled's polarized track list. Post Plague's first half is stark yet raucous, its hard edges offering armor against an increasingly cold and self-obsessed era. On "Needs," a stomping satire of 2010s id, Dean Tzenos' disaffected sneer and wild yelps call to mind Trent Reznor; later, the uneasy groove of "Nervous" is jarred by rapid-fire drums. Stripped of the lo-fi production values of their earlier albums, the way Odonis Odonis' silence and noise punctuate each other is more potent than ever: on "Betrayal," the frantic synths and beats and circling vocals sound like a tripped emotional alarm system. Sometimes Post Plague's onslaughts border on exhausting, but Odonis Odonis know when to bring things back down when they've spent too much time in the red. The album's more melodic back half features some of its best moments, all of which are looking for some kind of connection in a time when love might be too much to ask for. "Pencils," a duet with Hard Boiled collaborator Kathryn Calder, is alternately ominous and alluring; "Game," which fleshes out Post Plague's bones with some synth pop softness, is one of the band's finest pop songs in some time; and "Lust"'s naked lyrics and melody are so timeless that it almost sounds like a cover of a long-forgotten song. While sharp musical contrasts may be nothing new for Odonis Odonis, they've never sounded as meaningful as they do here. Post Plague is some of their most urgent -- and satisfying -- music to date. ~ Heather Phares