As part of our continuing series on the artists who will perform at the upcoming 2012 Hopscotch Music Festival, we’re taking a look today at the Toronto “surf-gaze” band Odonis Odonis. Like many of the bands on the impressive 175-band lineup, I had never heard of Odonis Odonis until a couple of weeks ago. I added them to the list of about 45 bands who I’m going to make every effort to see.
I still don’t know much about them. It’s three dudes from Toronto, and their frontman is called Dean Tzenos. After listening to Hollandaze a few times, It’s not surprising at all to find these bands listed among his influences: The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Cure, Pixies. All of that stuff was what his older sisters listened to, and he inherited their excellent taste. Although he doesn’t specifically mention them as an influence, I can tell that his older sisters also listened to a lot of Love And Rockets. That’s not so obvious on this song, but on others, Odonis Odonis sounds like a Love And Rockets cover band.
Odonis Odonis was not intended to be anything other than some way to mess around a little bit. What started as goofing around a little bit, making bedroom tapes turned into something more real. In the spring of 2011, they made a 7″ record, and a couple of months later, they signed to Fat Cat Records. Last autumn, they released their debut album. Their forthcoming sophomore album —Soft Boiled Hard Boiled— should be out this autumn.
Here’s today’s song:
“Seedgazer” by Odonis Odonis
After the too-long intro, there’s that “Gigantic”-esque bass line at 0:42. A lot of bassists and a lot of guitarists will be forthright about the fact that the very existence of their band was due to the brilliance of Kim Deal’s bass playing on “Gigantic”. In the 1990s almost every special new band had a song with a bass line that borrowed heavily from the Pixies, just like today’s song does. The borrowing of the bass line isn’t as widespread any more, but loads of bands today will say that the first time they heard Surfer Rosa, and specifically “Gigantic”, they decided right then that they wanted to start a band.
It’s also not as obvious on this song, but sometimes, one or all of the guys will sing with a Manchester accent. I may be making that up in the space between my ears and my brain, and I’m a little bit put off by what I’m making up.
Still, though. It’s a very good record that I’ve enjoyed immensely at high volume. That’s my suggestion to you. Play it loud. Really loud. Preferably in a big room. This album, and specifically this song, has lots of white and pink noise. Lots of feedback. Lots of reverb. It’s dark and foggy. It’s warm and close. It’s sticky. It’s intoxicating.
Odonis Odonis will be playing Friday night of the festival. September 7. They have the 10:30-11:30 slot at Lincoln Theatre, appearing just before Zola Jesus. Although my opinion is that Friday has the least awesome of the three nights of awesomeness, you really can’t go wrong with Jesus & Mary Chain as the headline act in City Plaza that night followed by Odonis Odonis and Zola Jesus playing back-to-back at one venue. You can bet your arms that I’ll be planted at Lincoln Theatre for a while that night. Find me and I’ll buy you a beer.