The Odds Are Against Us

Retro Download: The Odds Are Against Us

The Odds Are Against UsTo the best of my recollection, Uncle and I began to start pumping life back into the Odds corpse back around the summer of 2006.  Times were strange, and I think we were both hankering for a bit of the old creative release.  We talked about the prospect of inviting Aaron to play drums; he and I had crossed paths a few times by that point and I always quite enjoyed his company.  Hadn’t actually heard any of the bands he had played drums for, but Lysh acted as a pretty great character reference, and that was enough for us.  Then we promptly more or less failed to get anything going beyond talk.

The stars began to align that December.  Sara Loreilei, who had a birthday coming the following April, suggested that it might be fun to not only throw herself a birthday celebration show, but to put a reunited OAAU on the bill.  Alas, gears started turning.  And then, of course, the winds of fate brought the Infamous Landon Franson, now based in Lloydminster, back into our lives.  I’m a bit foggy as to how this occurred after a good five plus years of having fallen out of contact, but even having met Landon in the first was a bit of a strange miracle (I’ll tell the tale if anyone requests to hear it), so it made complete sense.  We told Landon of our plans and promised to hold a spot for him should he want to join up on second guitar, which he said he would.  Then we didn’t hear from him for something like two months, but forward momentum had pushed us to the point of enticing Aaron over for some noisemaking around later January.  Things went less than smooth, and Aaron later admitted that he didn’t have much in the way of intentions of further participating in the beating of our dead horse.  Nevertheless, we enticed him over for another go at it in early February, as we were still mulling over accepting the invitation for the show in April.  Didn’t at all seem feasible at that time.

Ah, but then the magic happened.  We’d not been congregated in Uncle’s basement any more than an hour when Landon called to tell us that he’d made a spur of the moment decision to pack his gear and make the three hour trip down from Lloyd for the weekend, and would we be able to jam?  We tried as best we could to prepare Aaron for what was coming but, I think, mostly failed.  We told Landon that we had a show offer in two month’s time…

Landon:  “Two months?  No fucking way, lil’ buddy.  Not enough time!”

Then, somehow, everyone plugged in, and what should have been a clusterfuck of best intentions going wrong somehow felt like magic.  We drank, played Burnout and bashed out songs for three days straight.  We agreed to do the show, even though Landon would only be able to make it down to Saskatoon for two more weekends prior to it.  We hatched a bit of a plan to play as many shows as we could with Landon, but also as a three piece when he couldn’t find time to make the Saskatoon-Lloyd commute.  This line of thought was more or less abandoned when we discovered that, without Landon, that special something was just missing.

The Odds Are Against Us

The Obsession of Ahab and Days of May were songs that Uncle had written shortly before the band imploded in 2001; we revived and reinvented them easily enough.  The impetus behind Mass Consumption and Casket Parade was to craft a couple of really simple songs while, at the same time, allowing me to unleash some lyrics that had been knocking around in my skull for years prior (sadly, the lyrical gears don’t shut down just because you haven’t been in a band in six years).  Landon had written Knowledge (which we tormented him over, even though it is all about brotherly love and may be the song that best captures the essence of what it was like spending three-day stretches in Uncle’s basement with his horrible fucking cat) prior to his second trip down.  We came up with Evan Needs His Sleep in about thirty seconds (we had a blood feud with You Tel Aviv at the time, because they are horrible people).  I thought that we had hit on a really intriguing scenario where you had four different songwriters with four different styles, each of which shone through in different songs.

Long story short, three or four practices after years upon years of nothing, and we were about as show ready as we ever were.  The gig went over really well, Leif Carlson broke his nose and sang the d.b.s. track Five Billion with us, and the night was pure inebriated magic.

We decided to take advantage of the forward momentum by putting a second show together with the intention of recording at the Bassment with our beloved old friend Jortron! Smith over the following two days.  I figured we could put the handful of songs that we (more or less) relearned or wrote fresh to tape, and then immediately set to work writing a new batch.  Less the fact that I blew my voice out the day before we were set to record (can you tell?) and the hours spent trying to make Aaron’s drums sound not horrible, it pretty much shaped up to be the greatest weekend ever.  We drank The Bassment dry and did most everything in one take.  We put the songs to MySpace and set about preparing a limited CD/Zine that never happened.  Over the course of the next three or so years, I think we played a grand total of two more shows (averaging one a year), wrote what I consider to be some of the very best songs that we had ever come up with and, staying true to tradition, had everything once again fall apart before we put them to tape.  What I had only then suspected might be our last show went down in October of 2009 on a bill with The Sneers and The Brains.  Technically speaking, I think it was the best we had ever played.  Then times got strange again, and everything just stopped.

As I now enter my twilight years, I look back on this past incarnation of the band with nothing but ecstatic glee and a good deal of remorse.  The best times of my life, hands down, were a direct result of putting these specific four personalities into the same room and letting chaos ensue.  Truth be told, I have a secret hope that all of the pieces might fall into place just one more time, and that we might get around to recording those lost songs, or maybe having a formal ‘farewell show’.  Never say never, I suppose.  Alas, I wouldn’t even consider it if it were not to be the same four people.

The songs to be found here are a documentation of an insanely magical weekend with four of the best delinquents that I have had the pleasure to come to know.  Here’s hoping you enjoy them.

— Casper Neurotic

[audio: Odds Are Against Us/01 – Mass Consumption.mp3, Odds Are Against Us/02 – The Obsession of Ahab.mp3, Odds Are Against Us/03 – No Press Liaison for the Casket Parade (Fuckhead in a Flak Jacket).mp3, Odds Are Against Us/04 – Evan Needs His Sleep (Go Tel Aviv).mp3, Odds Are Against Us/05 – A New Knowledge.mp3, Odds Are Against Us/06 – Days of May.mp3|titles=Mass Consumption,The Obsession of Ahab,No Press Liaison for the Casket Parade (Fuckhead in a Flak Jacket),Evan Needs His Sleep (Go Tel Aviv),A New Knowledge,Days of May]

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