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Stanley Odd

Stay Odd: The Magic of Everyday Things (Handsome Tramp)

By • Apr 15th, 2021 • Category: Album review

This third album by Scottish-based “rap combo” Stanley Odd has been quite a long time in the pipeline but the fourteen-track release includes a number of previous singles and was also delayed by lockdown and the cancellation of live dates last year.

The six-piece band comprise Dave ‘MC Solareye’ Hook on vocals, Veronica Electronica on other vocals, drummer/producer Dunt, AdMack and T Lo on synths and guitarist Scruff Lee.

BM has reviewed a few of the singles including ‘The Invisible Woman‘ and ‘She’s A Wee Witch‘, so will concentrate on the “new tracks”…

It is worth saying again however that first track ‘FUWSH‘ (F— You We’re Still Here) is a great state-of-the-nation address, with rapper MC Solareye referencing the haters (“rap with a Scottish accent, how I can unhear this?”) and a testament to the band’s enduring commitment to doing their thing, whatever the musical or political climate.

Tracks like the previously-reviewed ‘Night Rip‘ give more space to vocalist Veronica Electronica to do her thing, soulful and affecting, with elements of dub and dubstep in the musical backdrop. ‘Champion? Sound’ is a great workout for the backbeats, “iller” than ever, while the vocals comment on hard times.

The lyrical dexterity which has always been an Odd trademark continues on ‘Recycling’, a tale of a BMX bike which “goes around and comes around”… while ‘Undo Redo’ is an introspective take on partying and the aftermath. The BPM is high at times, but the hangover nasty…

‘Airborn’ continues Solareye’s verbal onslaught, the words coming thick and fast, with another lovely chorus and vocal line from Veronica. ‘Exciting Lives’ has a great guitar line, and a doomy keyboard-line, and is full of nostalgia (for younger and/or pre-Covid days), getting “stotious in the Scotia” but celebrating parenthood, with some nice kids cartoon references – very well put-together indeed…

The last few tracks include ‘Love Letters’, a tribute to words with a great guitar line, and as ever, a great backbeat, ‘KILLSWITCH’ which starts with a simple organ line but dives straight into the words, a flurry of asides and wordplay and Veronica and Solareye sharing vocals on ‘Bill Oddy’. The last (and longest) track ‘Best Pals’, where Solareye actually sings, and may be tribute to an old pal, it certainly feels like it – very moving.

This has to be Stanley Odd’s best work to date, a version 3.0 with more firepower, more breadth, the anger precision-guided but shot through with humanity – they continue to be a vital part of the musical landscape, for this reviewer at least…

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