Trust is very important to me. Over the years that we’ve done Time For The Blues on WCVE-Music, Henry and I have built up relationships with various artists and publicists who reach out to us in the hopes we will play their music. In my case, they also want one of my reviews, and I’m flattered that they believe in us so much that they want our help to reach the audience.
Those that we’ve gotten to know well, often send us surprise groups, many that we’ve never heard before. None of those ever go on the air without us checking them. You never know who is going to say a non-FCC approved word or put out a song that is about as close to the blues as was Tiny Tim’s rendition of Tiptoe Through The Tulips.
The same rules generally apply to this review blog as I hate to write bad things about people’s albums. If I don’t care for something, I just don’t want to write about it. I want to find something that excites me, especially if it’s a new (to me) artist.
Today is a little different, I’m going to listen to a new CD from Odds Lane called Lost And Found. It’s the latest release from Gulf Coast Records, the new label that Mike Zito is heading up. I’m trusting two people, one the publicist who sent it to me and the second the label itself. So far, I’ve liked the first three albums they’ve released. Will we like the next?
Odds Lane doesn’t waste any time and opens the album with crashing chords on Don’t Give It Away. The blues rock gauntlet has been thrown down and these guys have rooted the song in a dirty gritty backbeat that crawls under your skin. Good promise guys, let’s see where this goes.
They don’t slow down much for the next song, Seven States. They are in a strong guitar driven groove. I can see why Mike Zito signed this group, they abandon all pretense when they play and just go straight for the primal reaction. Very cool for the ones who like their blues mixed with hard rock.
They bring things down a smidge for I Ain’t Missing You. One broken heart can equal at least a dozen good songs. This is a ballad that’s a little more mainstream and has a nice little guitar run. I could see this one getting some airplay.
The follow up with the title track, Lost And Found. It has a good kick and is fairly straight ahead in its pop-rock-blues delivery. A good choice to follow the previous song as the two together form a mental story. After that is Moth To A Flame, a quick tune that when taken with the previous couple complete the picture. Sometimes we’re just drawn to the light that’s going to burn us. Could have been worse, it might have been flypaper…
Hard Rain is a unique sounding song for the album. It’s dark, and the vocals are softer than usual which makes one sit up a little taller just to see what they are up to. There is a concept that is as old as literature; nature reflects the moods of man, so a hard rain is crushing to most. Very good song. They save the pyro until about the halfway mark which makes it stand out even more.
I would be curious about any song titled Blood On The Van, but somehow I know these guys are going to provide a wild carnival ride of a song. They do, and the juxtaposition with the last song and this one is a great effect. I’m not sure where I’m going to play it, but you better believe it’s getting played.
There have been several songs told from a panhandler’s point of view: Brother Can You Spare A Dime, Somebody Loan Me a Dime, etc. Odds Lane has added Spare Change to the cannon with some wicked slide and crashing cymbals. It’s a hard driving number and will definitely be getting some airplay. Of course, what they’re looking for will cost more than a little spare change.
The band gets a little psychedelic with What’s Your Name. They seem to exploring different iterations of blues rock, and here, they’ve added some of that late ‘60’s West Coast trip style. Not my usual cut of tea, but I give them respect for pushing their boundaries.
They add a little funk to the next song, Little Too Late. It’s a stripped down sound from the previous number but still strays heavily on the rock side. There are some nice guitar runs and the song is solid enough.
They close the album with the song I’ve been waiting for, White Castle Blues. Yes, I will admit that there was a time not so long ago when I would develop cravings for that special White Castle food that no one else can duplicate. Unfortunately, the closest one to me is a state and a half away, so those cravings went unfulfilled. The song sums up the longing and the intense desire I had. Think I’m going to play this? You better believe it brothers and sisters…
So, what’s the verdict on Odds Lane? I like their sound, although it can be a little heavy at times. I’m not always in the mood to listen to a hard rocking blues sound, but when I am, I will reach for Lost And Found. Several of the songs will end up on our playlist and we’ll be sharing them with you soon.
Taking a few minutes to look at their website reveals that they are based in St. Louis and is comprised of Doug Byrkit and Brian Zielie. I very much like the way they blend different styles – they don’t just stick with one groove or one sound. I think the way Mike Zito produces album will make them an unbeatable combination.
I would definitely keep them on your radar and catch them live if you can.
2012 Dark Matters
2016 Last Night On Cherokee