Join our mailing list.
“Wind me up, push me around, just don’t tell me to settle down.” That’s the sound of singer Oscar Baker’s voice as it pulsates through the title track of Chicago-based alt-rock trio ODDITY’s debut album, “Settle Down.” The track has a shared musical lineage with another hard-driving alternative track; and while any comparisons to a song like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” might seem like a form of heresy, the fact that the band has worked with the same prolific producer, the ever-present rock shaman Steve Albini, who helmed that rapturous grunge standard to engineer their new record is evidence that ODDITY is a band with a thorough understanding of their own history but who also isn’t afraid to see where that history might lead them. “Why fly like a monster, when you’re moving like a dancer,” Baker sings as he inaugurates his listeners to these 11 tracks of churning rock authenticity.
“It’s like having three people in the same body--that’s how connected we are in everything we do,” ODDITY’s Harvey Baker explains as he reveals details about the development process for the album. With squalling guitar riffs that recall the clang and electricity of Queens of the Stone Age and a collection of jammy nods to 70s classics by bands like Led Zeppelin and Wings, ODDITY brings a full armory of noise which pours from the fingers and voices of all three members, creating a truly unique and mesmeric rock cacophony.
As two thirds of the band trace their genealogies back to the UK, it’s not surprising that songs like “Turn” and “Ghost” have a Madchester-scene/Stone Roses feel to them, and that Mani would surely be proud of those liquid bass lines. For those that run at a quicker gait, “Pressure’s Gone” channels Dave Grohl and his high energy, frenetic work with The Foo Fighters that gives listeners the feeling that they can conquer the world. The LP slows down with “Rolling with the Punches,” which combines the bucolic showmanship of Wilco with the power ballad theatrics of a band like Aerosmith. Each song of the album was recorded directly to tape, making listeners feel as though they are in the room with the band. The recording and mixing was based in one location, Electrical Audio in Chicago. This all occurred during last parts of January 2016 over the course of eight days.
ODDITY formed around January of 2012 under the name Fletcher and released two EP’s, “Open Arms” and “Thundersteps,” which helped to establish their serrated rock credibility with audiences and critics across theU.S. In the opening months of 2016, the trio decided to go in a different direction artistically, and this change in approach eventually prompted the name change. “We changed our name because we are reinventing our sound, so we’d thought we should reinvent ourselves,” frontman Oscar Baker elaborated.
The band consists of brothers Oscar and Harvey Baker and drummer Tom Fry, who independently released “Open Arms” in 2013 and “Thundersteps” in 2014 and plan to do the same for the upcoming release of “Settle Down.” Under their previous name, ODDITY played countless shows all over their hometown of Chicago and spent time touring across the Midwest and West Coast (Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, and Colorado) and continue to have upcoming shows in the Windy City as well as planning for a summer tour in the near future.