Sunday, January 30, 2011

Reviewed :: Ancient Kids - Odd City

Normally bands are formed long before recording a debut album, however Jordan Robson Cramer decided to write and record the entirety of Odd City before putting a band together. Ancient Kids features past and current members of Montreal's best and brightest, including Islands/Unicorns, Adam & The Amethysts, Anemones, not to mention Cramer's other band Sunset Rubdown. Odd City was recorded from November of 2009 to August of 2010 with Jordan playing nearly every instrument in a loft space recording studio known as Digital Bird with Martin Horn handling production duties.

Admittedly we are big fans of Jordan's work in the Spencer Krug [Wolf Parade] fronted Sunset Rubdown, but we were unsure of what to expect from his first solo outing. What we found was one of the most varied and infectious records we've heard in a quite some time. Odd City starts with the rousing fuzz pop of See Through, which leads into Crystal Family a gorgeous piano driven ballad that reminds us of Sophomore Slump era Grandaddy, but after a couple of minutes angular guitar lines and pounding drums enter, which makes for one of the albums most immediately satisfying tracks. Throughout Odd City Jordan Robson Cramer displays penchant for writing catchy as hell choruses and the uncanny gift of delivering deadpan lyrics over sunshine pop which allows him to never sound overwrought or dramatic. This is best exhibited in our current favorite, Slowing Down (Already), when Cramer delivers the line "wintertime just has a way of fucking with our heads", not only timely but dead on. As a whole Odd City works beautifully mostly because it's an eclectic and engaging record that comes damn close to pop perfection.

Ancient Kids have offered Odd City at there Bandcamp site for free with the recommendation that you pay $8 and we wholeheartedly concur. So if you like what you hear below (and we think you will), plunk down some of your hard earned cash.

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