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Ods Bodkin: Ods Bodkin

Billing themselves as Unorthodox Rock (who am I to disagree??), instrumental trio Ods Bodkin present their self titled debut, with disparate ideas, umpteen different genre paths and stunning cover art! A comfortable, sit in the sun with a drink in your hand album this is not, with almost every note issuing a challenge to keep up, or at least stay in sight.

Things start simply enough, although the odd noises and rhythms of short intro track "Ablation" do hint at rougher seas ahead. Then "Transfix" kicks in with a riff that Clutch have built a rather natty career on, immediately giving an impression that the Ods Bod's will be easy to pigeon-hole. However as "Transfix" slides and slithers through its ten minute duration, it knocks on the door of Space Rock, Avant-garde, Art-Rock and Doom, never pausing quite long enough to have a genre tag pinned to it. The journey has begun and things don't get any easier to digest from there, although that is not to say that the taste left isn't rather enjoyable, if unusual. King Crimson spring to mind, or at least Fripp does, while everything from Hawkwind to Science Fiction soundtracks stop by at some point to say hello.

Longer songs (three to four minutes) are interrupted by shorter segments, some of which are mere noise, others more song based. They all paint a picture, however whether they truly give up what the subject in the image is, isn't quite so clear. The entire duration of "Phase Transmission" for example feels like the strange noise that played when the Mysterons appeared in Captain Scarlet, while "Anodizing" is almost a minutes worth of Extreme Metal white noise. Add to that the nearly five minutes of "Six Billion Syllables", where synth bleeps, blurbs and warbles gnaw at your senses and at time the feeling is not of an album to be listened to, but to be experienced. Sometimes for fun, sometimes as punishment. Every now and again a song breaks out and when it does, it tends to be of the gigantically fuzzed riffing variety, although "Root" closes the album almost in Drone territory.

The trio who make this unusual, challenging and for the most part rather convincing racket comprise of Heath Hanlin on guitars and synths, Jeff Wagner on bass and synths and Joshua DeKaney on percussion. All three give scintillating performances, the rhythm work is especially mesmerising, but it is the manner in which the three lock together with such seamless precision that makes what could have been a rather too clever for itself mess, into an album that rewards some serious time and concentration on the part of the listener. Obviously vocals would be too flippant to add to this conglomeration of ideas and I have to say that even contemplating where they would fit into the Ods Bodkin vision, gave me a headache.

Not for the faint hearted, Ods Bodkin is an album that will scare as many people as it delights. It isn't perfect and doesn't quite come off from start to finish, but it sure as hell captivates the imagination.

Where they go from here, goodness only knows, I for one will be waiting to find out....

Track Listing
1. Ablation
2. Transfix
3. Phase Transmission
4. Hydrogen Diatom
5. Six Billion Syllables
6. Anodizing
7. Blocked And Invisible
8. The Coma
9. Encomiast Procession
10. Thick With Absence
11. Root

Added: March 30th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Ods Bodkin Bandcamp
Hits: 1488
Language: english

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