Odds are, you’ve never heard of Oddczar. Bad puns aside, they’re a rather young group that pulls from the sounds of Touche Amore, La Dispute and Saetia with a healthy amount of gruff and a touch of melody to boot. The band’s debut LP One Word doesn’t toy with ideas or string together thoughts with a subtle sense of discovery, as much of their process on this LP is through cathartic, stressed vocals and a wall of buzzing guitars. Yet even as Oddczar makes their first big step in terms of compiling their thoughts together in the form of a record, the amount of potential and energy in these songs seemingly outweighs any of the growing pains you’d think a band like this would have. One Word might not already be on your radar, but if you’re a fan of emotional post-hardcore, it really should be.
The engulfing in guitars is evident through the entirety of this record, whether it be the mountainous strums of “Samsquanch” or the gripping sways of “Junaluska” – both are just as compelling in their own way. Musically, these guys move in confidence from punching strums to melodic additions, all while keeping the focus on the entirety of the songwriting. “Nineteen” in particular shows this ability with fever and some effects-driven ornamentals in the melody department, all without pulling back on the adventurous moment that occurs in the jangled rhythms hinted at at times here.
Melodically, the additions can often feel a bit tacked on, for good reason, or driving in the sense of the mellower movements of the disc. “Sidesex” is short and sweet in this sense, smoothly balancing a certain swagger within driving riffs and a push from the rhythm section. The title track follows a somewhat similar formula in terms of keeping up the energy in the strums and drums, all while not ignoring the impact of some well-placed licks.
In honesty though, the only turnoff at times would lie in the vocal approach – and to be quite honest, they’re more than passable in the long run. If anything, such an approach only amplifies the impact with which they are delivered, hovering in a mix between gruff shout and mid-range scream. “Nineteen” and “My Lips Are Seals” stand out a bit in the lyrical department, but for the most part the vocal department shows the most area for growth in terms of cleaning things up and perhaps focusing a bit more on writing in terms of lyrics.
To be blunt, Oddczar isn’t quite there yet, but One Word is proof that with time, they will be. Whether you like your post-hardcore with some energetic undertones or brandished with a sense of abrasion in the tone, One Word is a record worth the time it’ll take to spin.