Oddly are a three piece indie rock band from Kyoto, Japan. The band shun the bass guitar in favour of a double guitar (Naoko Yutani and Tomoyuki Watanabe) and drums (Keita Kishimoto) set up, with group vocals. Materialising in March 2020 with the ‘Loaded’ EP you might be forgiven for having missed them the first time around. Their new ‘Odd Man Out’ EP consists of all four tracks of the aforementioned EP, the single ‘Ruh Ruh’, also released last year, and a new song ‘The Plateau’.
Opening with the brilliant, chugging ‘Ruh Ruh’ the band immediately recall a million great indie bands of the 90s. Perhaps most notably The Pastels and Blur.
The male/female vocal exchange in the chorus is perfectly sweet and counterbalances the moody Blur-like verses exceptionally well.
The phaser tinged ‘Nonage’ follows with delightfully rough around the edges melodies and washed out Dinosaur Jr. Saying this, musically it kind of reminds me of the short lived but wonderful Beta Blocker And The Body Clock. The vocal performance is Vaselines-esque. The glorious feedback makes way for the ear wormy upbeat hook of ‘Concrete Jungle’. There’s a touch of early Los Campesinos! and, fittingly, The Concretes as well.
They take a breather with the reverb drenched guitars of ‘Counterfeiters’.
There’s a clear shoe gaze influence to this, but what really separates them from the crowd is that they don’t fall into the trap of obscuring their vocals too the point they could be anyone. This makes for a much stronger sound, and it’s a credit to them.
The title track of last year’s EP ‘Loaded’ is a cracker of an indie anthem. The jangly verses, the jarring pre-chorus and powerful chorus tick all the boxes. The spacious and contemplative ‘The Plateau’ brings the EP to a close.
Oddly certainly have a great ear for a simple catchy melody. The laid back atmosphere they create throughout is kind of like a Japanese Yo La Tengo or Say Sue Me. Their penchant for noise is also quite exhilarating. ‘Odd Man Out’ is a sensational EP which brings the band to vinyl for the first time. Highly recommended!
You may enjoy this if you like: The Concretes, The Pastels, Say Sue Me, The Vaselines, Yo La Tengo
‘Odd Man Out’ is out now via Damnably Records