Cargo Records Germany
November 4, 2016 (Germany)/April 2017 (Worldwide)
2016 has been a frustrating year musically, but in the best of ways. The amount of extremely talented bands and their material made it literally impossible to keep track of everything. The overall situation further leads me to skip my usual “Best Of” list because of the wealth of great material from a near-endless array of artists, made absorbing it all a daunting task. That said, two releases managed to separate themselves enough to tie for No.1 Album of the Year. The first is Hill’s magnificent self-titled offering. Let me tell you about the other right now…..
Let me now introduce you to (The) Odd Couple. What makes this Berlin duo so enthralling? Everything. Rarely has a full band, much less a duo cover so many musical genres in one place and make it work. At the heart of the machine seems to be a love of 60’s garage and psych, but narrowing down to just that would be a travesty. Throughout each of the fourteen tracks on display, the listener will encounter the aforementioned styles along with: 70’s pop, Krautrock, Grunge, New-Wave, Pyschobilly and yes, even more. By all rights, such a sonic concoction should be a disjointed mess, but that is where Odd Couple shines brightest. They have somehow taken a massive cache of influences and melded them together seamlessly and without any smug, artsy pretense. Amazing.
“Flugge” is a bold, refreshing statement in the world of underground rock. To sit and absorb it is to feel a deja-vu whisper gently in your ears as you simultaneously travel down freshly trodden paths. It deserves any and all accolades it will hopefully receive and is the best that this year’s many musical excursions has brought to me.
(Extra thanks must to go out to Cargo Germany’s A&R rep for the band, Isabel. She went above and beyond in helping me obtain the record and providing information about it. All labels should be this classy.)
Words by David “The Lovely” LaMay