Yesterday, Shane talked about how growing old widens the gap between the music we love and the voice of the hip, young crowd. The torrent of electronic blips, noise and nonsense cats like RiFF RaFF have seemingly swallowed up tight bands and polished players, and honestly, I’m less willing to dive in and hunt for treasures.
Years ago, I discovered music in my parents’ record collection, on college radio, reading tape liner notes or taking blind fliers just based on record labels. Now, almost all of those things are artifacts of another time. Music now is hidden on youtube or as poorly tagged MP3s in cryptic folders. Hooks, melodies, and harmonies are sadly starting to feel like nice-to-haves instead of crucial and required elements.
I know this is a little bit “get off my lawn”, but it makes me sad that a band like Odd Years can deliver a fantastic, polished debut and all I can think about is how it may just fall of deaf ears. Drawing Lines is a throwback; eleven rock n’ roll gems pumped out by a rhythm section that punches like a middleweight contender. The guitar riffs chug and solos sound great. Oh, and those harmonies. God, those harmonies.
Odd Years proudly references essential records from the past - “Odd Year” name drops some classics from Revolver - and playfully tips their cap to classic sounds, but these songs are more than nostalgic jam space experiments. Drawing Lines is a collection of fully developed, full band efforts about love and broken hearts. It’s a recipe that seems so simple and was once so vital to rock n’ roll, but now it’s a dying breed that is almost never executed successfully. Hopefully, people stumble into bars or show up for the early slots of festivals and see Odd Years on stage, playing music that could shape young ears and warm the cold hearts of curmudgeons like me.
Drawing Lines isn’t reinventing the wheel, splitting the atom or changing the world. They just focus on writing great songs that you actually want to listen to over and over again. They say life is what happens while you wait for the huge moments to occur, and much the same way, for me the best music is the kind you reach for time and time again while other people are trying desperately to soundtrack epic climaxes or broken hearts. I’ll take the simple, smile filled day-to-day every time.