Review Summary: Friends with boundless imagination.
ODE Willie’s Funky Bunch came to my attention at a rather divisive point in my life, when I was fresh out of high school, unable to decide which fork in the road would lead me to happiness. Though the resulting binge session of their work left me with an ulcer and led me to forget that animals existed for a brief period, the result was a net positive; it was okay to have no clue what I was doing, because other people didn’t, and they were doing semi-fine. And now, as I edge closer to finishing my degree and suffer a higher level of existential burnout, they return when I need them the most.
is a concept album about frogs, maybe. Or it's about the existential crises that emerge from office jobs and haircut anxiety. There's a nine minute opus set in an alternate universe where ODE Willie's control all forms of radio and televisual communication in an idiosyncratic Idiocracy/Rixty Minutes monopoly of uber-weirdness. The second half might be set in space. It has Latin undertones and traces of post-punk, with a dash of neoclassical dark wave to boot. ODE Willie’s promote the healthiness of fruit salad, which is more than we can say about other artists, including but not limited to: Yung Gleesh, Pearl Jam and Mozart. It’s very vocally diverse, tastefully utilising harsh screams and spoken word without pontificating for the sake of pontification. And at the end of it all, the band respects your time as a casual consumer of Bandcamp monstrosities enough to wave goodbye as you pull out of their drive.
Even though the absence of chief memer and Bandcamp uploader Zack Lorenzen initially gave cause for concern, ODE Willie’s memorialise their absent friend with the same gusto as previous releases, truly proving the power of friendship transcends state boundaries. Overall, Throckmorton
didn’t give me an existential crisis like Sauteed Buttholes
, and it didn’t ask me to go vote in a country I don’t live in like How to Ruin America
, so I can safely say that it’s ODE Willie’s most ambitious and most aesthetically pleasing project outside of their Christmas EP. It’s more experimental and adventurous than Greta Van Fleet’s new album and it’s free, which means it’s automatically worth listening to.