Release Date: Apr 15, 2014
Record label: Buzz Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Noise Pop
Coming a full two years after it was originally promised, Odonis Odonis' sophomore record nevertheless follows through on the promise of the band's scrappy, lo-fi debut. Split evenly along sonic lines, the Hard Boiled side emphasizes singer-guitarist Dean Tzenos' love of '80s industrial rock. A pounding "Blue Monday" beat anchors "Are We Friends," probably the album's most danceable track, whereas "Order in the Court" offers a more restrained and sonically layered take on the band's manic live energy.The short instrumental "Release" segues the album into its Soft Boiled side, on which ambient dream pop, like the bubbling build of final track "Alexa Wait," rules the day.
On 2011 debut ‘Hollandaze’, Odonis Odonis – led by Toronto’s Dean Tzenos – introduced themselves with a record full of wall-to-wall blistering noise that was as aggressive as a punch to the gut. Three years later, the first half of follow-up ‘Hard Boiled Soft Boiled’ takes the same brutish approach, and ‘Are We Friends’ comes on like Klaxons’ ‘Four Horsemen Of 2012’ with the neon replaced by jet black industrialism. Come midway point ‘Transmission From The Moon’, though, Tzenos starts unclenching his fists.
Odonis Odonis shows involve a lot of loud guitars, pedal-stomping, knob-twisting and buried vocals. If the sound isn't crisp, it can be difficult to grasp what the Toronto trio is trying to do. But Hard Boiled Soft Boiled gives some clues. Recorded at the Hive in Victoria, the band's second album has terrific production values, and beneath all the industrial edges and gothic stomp, Dean Tzenos's vocals are surprisingly melodic.
A well-titled second album from Toronto's self-described "industrial surf-gazers" Odonis Odonis: Hard Boiled Soft Boiled sees the band and their walls of noise flitting from the pulverizing to the drunkenly delicate. Hard Boiled Soft Boiled opens with "Tension," a crescendo swoop of alarm-bell guitar that immediately explodes into the "Blue Monday"-alike drum intro of "Are We Friends"—a growling racket of a track, in which frontman Dean Tzenos barks lines such as "You can give me oral/It might seem immoral" over a buzzing bassline and crashing industrial drums. It sets a furious tone for the album's searing first half, before the second half of the record showcases the band's gentler side with "High Note"'s sparse, wiry guitars and the wordless wooziness of "Transmission From the Moon," which sounds like a Loveless offcut.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. You may have noticed a review of Odonis Odonis' new album, Hard Boiled Soft Boiled, appeared on this site last week - before quickly disappearing. Unfortunately the album had been reviewed using an incorrect track order which had led to some of the reviewer's complaints about the record. We decided that in order to be fair to the band, we would retract the original review and reappraise the record based on the correct track order.
As the title of Odonis Odonis' second album implies, Hard Boiled Soft Boiled's loud songs appear on its first half and the quieter ones on the second. It's an interesting concept, and one that the band emphasizes with the interludes "Tension" and "Release" separating its sides. Even though its divisions aren't always that strict -- an acoustic guitar somehow cuts through the din on "Mr.
Growing up, I enjoyed my soft boiled eggs with toast soldiers. There was something exciting about cracking into that pristine, off-white coloured eggshell – you couldn’t be sure of the viscosity of the yoke about to potentially erupt. Would the soldiers be able to have a clean sweep or be forced into a wall? It’s this 50/50 chance on the breakfast experience that Toronto band Odonis Odonis have embraced with Hard Boiled Soft Boiled.