Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

What could've been... - 79%

Rael, December 22nd, 2008

Odin has taken a beating from a lot of people over the years--mostly from people who saw the admittedly terrible snippets that were shown on the 'Decline of Western Civilization - Metal Years' movie. And really, their best era, which this EP documents, was lamentably short. Their earlier 7" was trashy trad-metal while later stuff leaned toward cock-rock. 1985's 'Don't Take No For An Answer,' however, offers 4 songs of U.S. metal excellence, and two near-duds.

The EP kicks off with "The Writer," which is like a hybrid of 'Knights'-era TNT, classic Savatage, Armored Saint, and early Motley Crue. Lots of classic metal moves, some grit and speed, a few epic melodies, and the vocals of Randy O, which walk a fine line between menacing snarls, wailing screams, or Vince Neil- on-helium weirdness (as far as I'm concerned, Neil is one of the most useless "talents" to ever hold a microphone, so this is not a flattering comparison). "The Writer"'s intellectual/pacifistic theme is remarkable and interesting, considering the era/style we're talking about. "One Day to Live" and "Solar Eye" have a dark, urgent quality, as well, including some weird melodic choices by underrated guitarist Jeff Duncan (he later joined Armored Saint)--but not as weird as Randy O's melodies. The three aforementioned songs also offer a tight rhythmic chemistry. Pretty much the sort of stuff anyone into classic California bands like Malice and Omen would enjoy.

"Shining Love" is very much a ballad, but it's a smart one--plenty of depth and some fantastic solo work from Duncan. I have nothing against ballads, but most of them end up pretty lame. Like Dokken's "Alone Again" or Iron Maiden's "Wasted Love," this one is convincing, and it proves the band possessed seriously strong songwriting ability for at least a short period of time. Unfortunately the final two tracks--the title track and "Judgement Day"--offer nothing better or even comparable to what comes before. Musically they're not even terrible, although stock/generic riffs fill up the title track, and by "Judgement Day" I'm just weary of Randy O's completely off-key/off-kilter delivery. The speed of the song is great, and the strained riffs brew up some tension, but the vocalist just sucks on this one. If I wanted to listen to crappy off-key metal-sleaze vox, I guess I'd listen to Motley Crue...or Krank.

Four killer songs and two weak but tolerable ones. I'm glad I've kept this one around for so long. Cool cover, too. Embarrassing back cover though (for them, not me). I'll never kick it out of the collection. I need "The Writer" and even "Shining Love," and damn, I do love white vinyl! Too bad they never capitalized on this EP.

I'd rather be stuck with Thor - 45%

Gutterscream, April 3rd, 2007
Written based on this version: 1985, 12" vinyl, Half-Wet (Limited edition, Colored vinyl)

“…look around the world, everyone’s inswerled, catastrophe makes people curl…”

Stalled somewhere around 30,000th in the ‘greatest metal band’ race, this glam-baked six-songer is immediately outclassed by its tasteful All Father pencil drawing cover, a rendering that could’ve represented a Warlord album just fine, but is instead grafted to a sound that’s soft in the starch department and pretty girlie just about everywhere else.

I don’t know where their heads were when they chose Odin for a name. With nothing imposing or mythically-based about their musically competent resonance, it’s as if the picture was so well liked by the band that they just couldn’t pass it up as a cover, but with possibly tentative monikers like Rockit or Buttslapper up in the air, who the hell knows. Of course, the title is of no consequence here.

Most of this is fairly fluffy and femininely energetic, like a less severe and more vixenish Leatherwolf buzzed with light Lizzy Borden-esque commercialism and some undercover glam thrown in for sour measure. Bouncing around in there as well is a petty, homegrown pubbiness where the bar is more pretty boy than biker. Prancing with untapped skill beyond their flaky visual demeanor are the Duncan brothers, guitarist Jeff and drummer Shawn, meanwhile vocalist Randy “O” has his own little identity going while sounding like so many with annoying high notes and youthfully bawdy midsections. Half Wet Records actually manages to get them a pretty tasteful production, which is a little more than the music’s worth.

If there’s one thing to say about the band’s songwriting, it’s that they’re rough on choruses. A track could be zipping along halfway decently, like the theatrical start and mannerly delivery of “The Writer”, then with one stunning blow it’s all smashed to splinters by some blunt club they call a chorus. Pretty pointless is the one in “One Day to Live”, repeated enough to keep hecklers and aspirin companies in business, and because of this deficiency the acoustically-infiltrated and semi-sappy “Shining Love” is reduced to third rate ballad stance (without the chorus it teeters on the second). Practically speared by its high-pitched, dumbly exaggerated one is “Solar Eye”, meanwhile the poor title cut…well, you get the drift.

They do manage to save “Judgment Day” from the chorus chopping block, however. It has one, but it‘s just not overplayed, overdressed, or overtaken by the band’s lackluster talent in that area, and guess what, pound for pound it’s the best song on the disc.

Overall, lots go wrong to a project that could’ve been, at the very most, alright.

On white, slightly marbled wax.