Odonis Odonis' Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled, released April 15, includes a guest performance from Kathryn Calder of The New Pornographers.

Review: Odonis Odonis Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled

Odonis Odonis' second record is like a high school acid trip

Odonis Odonis: Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled

Buzz records

By Nate Clark

Like a Wes Anderson movie, Odonis Odonis’ Hard Boiled Soft Boiled starts off with abstraction, ramps up to something beautiful, and leaves you feeling frustrated. It’s only a week later, as you’re taking your second 45-minute shower of the day, that you force yourself to admit that you fucking loved it.

The band’s sophomore effort is the brainchild of Toronto’s Dean Tzenos, whose 2011 debut Hollandaze caused quite a ruckus in the Canadian dream pop/noisegaze community. Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled feels like an evolution of that record’s model, with its layered guitars and faraway melodies breaking some new ground in the sub-genre, if not exactly redefining it.

The album’s first tracks are a mix of noisy instrumentals and hard-hitting rock tunes that demand your attention like a double-kick pedal to the face. “Order in the Court” is a weighty first-side favourite, with screeching feedback and Ministry-style distort-O-vocals that will make a Lexapro-dosed KMFDM fan drool.

It’s on the album’s second half however, that the record comes into its own, both lyrically and instrumentally.

The first few notes of  “Office Sluts” are a first-class ticket to dreamland, reminiscent of “I Wanna Be Adored” and just as moody. The soaring vocals beneath a deep sea of reverb succeed at transporting the listener to another world, one full of teenaged angst and lunchtime LSD trips.

High Note” shows off Tzenos’ maturity as a songwriter, disarming the listener with a mixture of catchy guitar lines, nostalgic lyrics and dreamy female vocals. It’s as richly textured as anything on Broken Social Scene’s Forgiveness Rock Record, and just as satisfying.

Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled can – like high school – feel oddly complex at times. The record’s more bizarre moments are like a tête-à-tête with a mentally ill hippie. My advice: listen loudly on a decent pair of headphones and dim the lights.

 

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