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Odin - Odin CD (album) cover

ODIN

Odin

 

Heavy Prog

3.35 | 28 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Odin were a band with an interesting background, possibly more interesting than their music which was rather run-of-the-mill psych and blues rock sprinkled with a bit of funky jazz. The lineup consisted of a German, Dutchman and a couple of Englishmen transplanted to Germany in the late sixties. An early formation was known Honest Truth and made their modest reputation through live shows for the most part. Odin came to be after a breakup of Honest Truth in the wake of the death of their keyboardist and the theft of their equipment.

The Odin lineup included a new keyboardist (you know, because the old one was dead) named Jeff Beer, the only German and a converted guitarist. This band also concentrated on live shows, and secured a contract with Vertigo in 1972. Their self-titled and only studio release followed shortly thereafter. While the group had worked on a follow-up and had recorded tracks in a radio studio that would be released a quarter-century later, their fortunes in 1973 were rather bleak and by early 1974 the band had disbanded after less than three years together.

“Life is Only” and “Turnpike Lane” were among the four tracks the band would re-record in their radio studio sessions in 1973 and while those recordings were nearly identical, the production quality of both on this record is quite a bit better. “Life is Only” appears to be the band’s magnum opus, a nearly eleven minute foray into jazz, heavy blues and psychedelic guitar riffs that is a bit undisciplined but pretty ambitious for a fledgling band of young musicians.

“A Tribute to Frank” is just what the title says, but interestingly enough the short track’s keyboard and percussion bear a striking resemblance to a lot of jazzed-up New Age music I heard in the early eighties. This is also the only track of its kind on the album. “Be the Man You Are” is the other oddity, a mellow, folk-like guitar number with Beer providing dime-store philosophy backed by some decent harmony courtesy of guitarist Rob Terstall.

“Gemini” is a very prototypical early seventies Hammond organ-driven heavy rock song with wailing lead guitar and a toe-tapping though not particularly ambitious drumbeat. In all the tune isn’t bad, but sounds just like at least a couple dozen other bands of that era that come to mind but who I won’t bother to list out here.

The only instrumental on the album (“Eucalyptus”) is another slow number with an almost maddeningly plodding guitar and bass line that just doesn’t seem to go anywhere. I’m guessing there are no lyrics because the band couldn’t think of anything to say about the music. Me either.

The band ends the album and their career with “Clown”, another hard-rocker with psych guitar much in the vein of the opening track. Again, not bad but nothing any prog fan hasn’t heard countless times before.

The CD reissue has a bonus track (“Oh No”) which was also featured on the 1973 SWF session tapes released on the Long Hair label in 2007. This is another organ orgy (that sounds weird when I read those words back out loud), although I’ll admit the tune is representative of the rest of the band’s work so I suppose it fits here.

I’ll say the same of this album that I did about their SWF Sessions CD – not essential by any means, but a record that will likely have some appeal to fans of heavy prog. Three stars just because I think the music is a little better than just for collectors and fans of the band.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |

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