ODDITY - Settle Down

by Nathan Fidler Rating:4 Release Date:2016-06-27

The fact that Oddity features two brothers who moved from the UK to the US should be no surprise upon listening to their debut (at least under this new name) Settle Down. British rock and American alt-rock come colliding together, for better or worse.

Opening track ‘Settle Down’ has the howling British vocals, telling the listener to “settle down now”, while the guitars creak and shimmy with an almost Queens Of The Stone Age vibe. Elsewhere you’ll spot the roles reversing, with plenty of brit-rock guitars along the lines of Editors’ reverb or Bloc Party’s smooth tension, while the vocals are reminiscent of early noughties bands.

‘I’ll See You Rising’ almost gets this balance right, but for the most part the two different influences rub each other up the wrong way. Perhaps they were hoping for the Arctic Monkeys guided by QOTSA sound, but it never really reaches those levels of cool.

In the vocals there is a great deal of tension which never gets properly let off, when you’re expecting Oddity to let rip, they never do, and when you hope for them to dig more into their British slurs, they seem to try their best to avoid it.

With greater fluidity to follow a song on it’s natural course there would be more cause to relisten. ‘Pressure’s Gone’ holds promise in its verses but doesn’t deliver in it’s chorus, making for a frustrating listen.

This is a band with a fair bit of experience and seasoning. There is clearly a story behind them which ought to be told, but much like the misplaced falsetto on ‘Let Me Breathe’, this isn’t the way for them to do it.

There’s no doubting some of the riffs, melodies and beats, it’s just a shame that there isn’t a more cohesive element to bring it all together for an enjoyable album.

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