Music fans nostalgic for the alternative sounds of the 1990s will enjoy the new self-titled collection from OddFellas. The local favorites from Pampa, Texas offer five fuzz-guitar driven rock songs, infusing elements of funk and blues, which could have been included on the original motion picture soundtrack for Singles. The lyrical themes chronicle rocky relationships and bouts of cynicism, tempered by upbeat and uplifting genre combinations.
The Oddfellas EP opener, “Reason,” launches into a heavy funk-rock cacophony featuring finger plucked bass guitar before becoming a straight-ahead rock track about a romantic split. “Reason” questions the point of moving forward. Singer and guitarist Drake Fisher is prominent in the mix without being overpowering. Fisher’s voice is reminiscent of Candlebox’s Kevin Martin, with a dash of southern swagger. The use of a faint echo on Fisher’s vocals adds an atmospheric layer which brightens the often dour outlooks.
The most concise cut on the EP, “Disguise,” has all the makings of a radio hit. The colorful fretwork provides the melody, which leads a succinctly repeated chorus: “I feel like I’m not the only one/I swear this time that I will not think too much about myself.” Following the second refrain, at the 2:10 mark, the band launches into a choppy, groovy bridge outro which could be a song all on its own. Another highlight, the closer, “Dead,” at 6:36, is the longest song in the collection and features a transcendent psychedelic jam reminiscent of the Black Crowes.
Formed in 2017, OddFellas has won several Texas battles of the bands events and continues to capture the group’s live sound during recording. The Oddfellas EP successfully demonstrates how a quartet can play rock grooves which attract and win over audiences even after the band has left the stage.
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Justin Smulison is a professional content writer and producer whose first love is music. Smulison’s digital and print copywriting experience spans music, law, true crime, advertising and real estate, among other subjects. You can often find JS in Long Beach, New York, either running on the boardwalk or in the sand with his family.