I discovered Odonis Odonis by accident last autumn when a stray link unexpectedly took me to a download of their debut album (all above board). I thought I’d give it a go… 10 seconds into the title track ‘Hollandaze’, I was hooked. Shimmering, reverb laden guitar chords pulsed and cascaded like ‘Misirlou’, evoking scenes from Pulp Fiction – oozing cool. The gig begins in the same fashion, the kick drum and much hollering from Dean Tzenos would be enough for American crowds to turn this hidden backstreet venue into a beer soaked mosh pit. I’d ‘flip-out’ myself, but I’m 35 and don’t want to get my camera wet.
Visuals from a projector that’s plugged into a phone mimic the album covers stylings and are the only thing, apart from the LED’s on the amps and the light from the rear bar, that prevent us from being in complete darkness. The crowd are young, on average, and so are the band. I was expecting these Canadians to be intimidating 6 foot+ world weary maniacs, such is the menacing and downright dirty vibe that you get from their sound. They’re actually very approachable, despite a t-shirt that reads “HELL”.
Comparisons could be made with The Jesus and Mary Chain, and The Horrors at their darkest and most frenetic. Surfer Goth, perhaps, with an injection of energy and fun in the style of an indie garage band, such as The Black Lips.
A couple of tunes that are new to me follow the opener, before the rowdy, sinister, heavy grindings that form ‘Busted Lip’. “I should’ve kissed you last night…”. Applause is alarmingly muted after the perfectly balanced wall of sound has temporarily died down. You can’t clap with one hand holding a beer, that must be the reason. This gig is frickin awesome, I can’t help but smile at its awesomeness. The crowd seem polarised. Enthusiasts compensate for the quiet onlookers at the back by wooping their approvement, while standing on chairs.
‘Ledged Out’ carries another strong and memorable chorus lyric “you put your brake on overload”. ‘Blood Feast’ is slightly better behaved, carried by the bassline, with vocals that are practically 100% reverb. ‘Handle Bars’ is a highlight, foot tapping and head nodding reach their peak, to the sound of another screaming banshee release of energy.
More unheard material follows, with the psychedelia stripped away leaving pure punk. I’m not sure where this has come from. It’s an unexpected, but very welcome twist. The people near the very front are loving this… calls for “Another fucking tune” are repeated around the crowd while the band discuss their next move. We’re rewarded with ‘New World’, which leaves me dumbfounded and awestruck… with my spine still tingling, punch drunk from this audio assault, I stagger to the merch stall to buy a t-shirt.