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OdESSA - 'Bring Me The Head Of Pepe Lopez' album review

25 Apr 2010 // A review by Daniel Boom

OdESSA have put out a record this year called Bring Me The Head Of Pepe Lopez.

Not a bad effort at all.

Most tracks seem to resemble a live studio recording (rather than too much of an "engineered" sound). There’s a sense of real space that reminds me of other - mainly older - music. Certain recordings from the ‘50s (early rock & roll, post-war electric blues, country, early r&b), some rock from later but not so recent years (like garage rock from the ‘60s and punk and post-punk from the ‘70s and ‘80s). The vocals seem to have less presence than usual, while the drums have more. To my ears, they’ve managed to get the drums sounding pretty good. They come through strong, clear and hard hitting. They’re played with feeling too. 'Ain’t Nobody Else' really grabbed my attention. The drummer is Matt ‘Puba’ Swain (good shit, Puba). The rhythm guitar and bass are good on that track too.

Four other songs that I like are 'I’m Not A Bad Man (I Just Do Bad Things)', 'Somebody Sometime', 'It's Gonna Get Better (Live)', and an interesting number called 'Turn The Page'; a slightly surreal, quasi psychedelic cut.

In regard to style, funk seems to be the prevalent thing with OdESSA, yet not all songs are done with funk rhythms. The production isn’t big or slick (it doesn’t sound like Prince & The New Power Generation, for example. Or Jamiroquai. Or some kind of Maroon 5 type thing). Nor is this funk-metal (like Rage Against The Machine, 311, RHCP or Faith No More). Nor is it an attempt to recreate a genuine funk sound in the tradition of ‘60s/’70s acts (like James Brown, Tower of Power or Sly & The Family Stone). I’d call OdESSA an independent rock group with an underlying funk influence. I can’t think of another currently existing group similar to this, but funk and rock aren’t worlds apart. They’ve been crossing over for decades. I think it’s mentionable also that OdESSA have an element of looseness or improvisation in their music too (but more in a “self-destructive indie rock" way, than in an “informed R&B" way). The combination of chaos and funk reminds me a little bit (I stress little bit) of the music of the ‘80s hardcore band The Minutemen.

I don’t love this album but it's definitely got some good things about it. The title is a tad rough (!).

Daniel Boom.


About OdESSA

OdESSA have a solid reputation as one of New Zealand’s most exciting live bands. Their addictive blend of Rock RnB, electrifying grooves and phenomenal energy are sure to grab your attention.

OdESSA kick along the dusty centre-line where Rock 'n' Roll and R 'n' B first cross-mutated, with memorable songs played inside out – night after night.

OdESSA is a fluid and inventive rhythm section, with searing licks and dirty guitar grooves, polished off with strong, soulful vocals – playing wild to hot, sweaty crowds going crazy in a heady swirl of streetlights and hormones – exactly the way it's supposed to be. The 2021 edition has the addition of a horn section and keyboards.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for OdESSA


Bring Me The Head Of Pepe Lopez
Year: 2010
Type: Album
The Prize
Year: 2007
Type: Album
Oak Park Avenue
Year: 2005
Type: Album

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