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You may have noticed a review of Odonis Odonis' new album, Hard Boiled Soft Boiled, appeared on this site last week - before quickly disappearing. Unfortunately the album had been reviewed using an incorrect track order which had led to some of the reviewer's complaints about the record. We decided that in order to be fair to the band, we would retract the original review and reappraise the record based on the correct track order.

Whilst vinyl is seeing a resurgence and more bands are releasing records on music's hardiest format, few really embrace all that vinyl has to offer as a format. Toronto three-piece Odonis Odonis are an exception though choosing to use the vinyl form as a way of separating their album into two, each half representing a distinct musical style. Side A is characterised by industrial noise and a hard punk influence, whilst Side B takes the band's music into shoe gaze territory - each side representing half of the Hard Boiled Soft Boiled title.

As concepts go it's a relatively straightforward one to get your head around and, for the most part, works pretty well in practice. The DIY production, think layers of noise, muddy vocals and crunchy drums, does mean that the album as a whole feels cohesive, but it can also mean that the band's intended separation of the album's material can be lost if the listener has not been prepared for the idea.

Regardless of the conceptual ideas Hard Boiled Soft Boiled is an easily accessible record, particularly for fans of droning guitars and feedback loops. If you list bands like Sonic Youth (particularly their earlier work), Wire and Slowdive as some of your favourites, or you're a fan of the Toronto DIY scene in general, then you're going to find a lot to love in here.

The album opens with 'Tension', one of the few instrumental tracks on the record. A whirring of noise, like the modulated, affected sound of an engine warming up lasts for all of 30 seconds, providing a foundation for the Hard Boiled half of the album. In many ways the first half of the album is a tight coil of sound that constantly threatens to break completely free of control.

'Are We Friends', starts with a hard beat, before a deep, chugging bass guitar cuts in. The whole thing is then underscored by layers of feedback and unidentifiable electronic noise. Songwriter Dean Tzenos is only just audible over the noise, his own voice occasionally distorted, before resorting to wild yelps in the song's closing moments. For all the album's noise, there is a level of control, which makes this release feel a lot tighter than the band's debut. Many of the songs feature a greater abundance of hooks that draw you in to the music and make the overall experience more accessible. 'Mr Smith' for example (which closes the first half of the album), features harmonised backing vocals and the occasional clean guitar chord rising out of the murk that threatens at times to envelop the record. I wouldn't go as far as claiming the band manage to create poppier sounds, but for the listener less accustomed to wailing guitars and walls of feedback, they manage to strike that balance of sheer noise and catchy rock.

Whilst I'm sure that opinion will differ wildly depending on who is listening, the louder, faster tracks on the album have a tendency to lose their sense of direction. 'Order In The Court', which follows 'Are We Friends', is where this really becomes a problem. Whilst featuring frantic guitar work that would be the envy of any industrial or punk band, Tzenos' insistence on squealing every line makes for a difficult listen, whilst musically the whole track feels close to collapsing in on itself. 'New Obsession' on the other hand, despite utilising pounding drums so loud they practically clip the entire track, manages to come across as much more considered in its production. The rumbling bass that introduces the track holds things together pretty well, even when the waves of feedback and squealing guitars are brought in on top of it.

The first half's stand-out track is 'Breathing Hard', which seems much closer to the shoegaze of the record's second half (though of a much heavier pedigree). It's best characterised with a building guitar chord, a steady beat and an overall structure that seems to relish running over a succession of peaks and troughs. It's pretty ballsy, and really showcases the band's ability to weave huge noise with a more melodic sound. In many ways it is the beginning of the comedown from the dissonant peak of 'Order In The Court' and 'New Obsession'. Its only flaw is the obnoxious screaming that serves as backing vocals for the latter half of the track.

That in a sense characterises Hard Boiled Soft Boiled. For every great moment Odonis Odonis have recorded, there is something that proves to be a problem that pulls you out of your enjoyment of the record. From tracks that seem a little misplaced, to a sometimes un-inspiring production, you always feel as though with a little bit more time this could be a great record. The opening of 'Angus Mountain' and the entirety of 'Transmission' and 'High Note' show that they can do better. In those songs the production lifts the songs from just tidal waves of noise and creates something hypnotic and wholly unique.

As a counterpoint to the album's opening track, Hard Boiled Soft Boiled's second half opens with 'Release'. Unlike 'Tension's apparent tightening, 'Release' is the unspooling, the image of film falling from a reel and gathering in a chaotic pile on the floor. It marks the start of a second half that shifts things down a gear. The noise and feedback becoming backgrounds textures to the melodies layered above.

A common theme on the album's second half is a sense that tracks take longer to fully reveal themselves. Whilst 'Breathing Hard' is undoubtedly a track that builds, it remains relatively short compared to the likes of 'Angus Mountain' and 'Alexa Wait'. 'Angus Mountain' opens with an intricate guitar melody that seems distant and flits a little between channels, before this synthesised drum machine sound comes in. There's some deep kicks, and whilst usually drum machines can cheapen a track, here it just about works. It never feels overplayed, instead giving the song a solemn danceability.

Solemity is another theme that seems common on the second half of the record, particularly on tracks like 'High Note'. Featuring guest vocals from Kathryn Calder of New Pornographers, it's perhaps the most introspective moment on the record. There's something wonderful about Calder's voice, which seems to float above the reverberated guitars, whilst Tzenos' vocals are distorted to the point of disappearing in a fog. There's something deeply nostalgic about the way the track is structured, with the guitar flitting between slow chords and plucked arpeggios. the bass and drums, meanwhile recall albums like Evol by Sonic Youth.

On an album characterised, even in its slower moments, by aggressive levels of feedback, 'High Note' seems almost delicate by comparison. More so than any other track there is a dynamism that extends further than how much of an assault your aural sense can take. Much of Hard Boiled Soft Boiled seems to be mixed straight down the middle, whereas 'High Note' utilises subtle panning to great effect, Calder's voice seems to echo to the right, after originating on the left channel, whilst the guitar chords and riffs have a call and response that bounds between the speakers. There's a spatial quality that's missing from the rest of the record, yet it also suggests that what's here always remains ever so slightly out of our reach, fading out before the song even feels like it has said all it can.

Penultimate track 'Transmission From The Moon' is perhaps Hard Boiled Soft Boiled's most interesting track. An instrumental atmospheric composition, it has more in common with the work of drone and ambient artists than any rock act - though there are hints of Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Mladic in the use of distorted, distant vocal samples. It continues the ethereal tone that began in 'High Note', but takes it into a much more abstract place. Those vocal transmissions could be message that require relaying, but the distortion has obscured and corrupted the message. The end is nigh.

"Heaven must be cold" sings Tzenos on closing track 'Alexa Wait' the six minute showstopper that switches from slow-burning doom to euphoria. I guess if the end really is here we might as well celebrate it. The track starts with mellow guitar arpeggios accompanied by backing noise that grows in intensity. Its overall structure is much more in line with post-rock as it begins to layer the huge pounding drums with steady feedback loops and repeated guitar melodies. The final third takes cues from dance music, with a drum machine adding to the percussion and the feedback rising and falling. Yet despite the almost celebratory tone of the final third Tzenos' repeated refrain of "practice in moderation" makes the whole thing feel like a warning and sticks in the mind as the instruments give way to the final waves of feedback fading out into nothing.

Hard Boiled Soft Boiled was always intended to be an album of two halves and whilst it makes for an interesting record, it does mean that it always ran the risk of dividing opinion. The album is however, not without its highlights and for fans of shoe gaze, post-punk, or noise rock in general, it's well worth seeking this record out and letting it consume you.

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