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Odd Zero - "Admire the Liar" (CD/EP)

Odd Zero - "Admire the Liar" CD/EP cover image

"Admire the Liar" track listing:

1. Admire the Liar
2. Dirty Electricity
3. Stalker Vibe
4. Nervous Around Me
5. Set it Down
6. Notorious

Reviewed by on April 24, 2009

"The way 'Stalker Vibe' alternates between heavy, distorted guitar and light, almost reggae-ish guitar, shows a level of musical mastery uncommon in punk."

I've got to admire Odd Zero for combining punk and metal in some interesting ways on their EP, "Admire the Liar." Take for example the title track, which bursts right out of the gate with a racing bass riff courtesy of Tay Malloy. Mike Fuji's guitar comes in with a snarl matched by Mike Friedman's vocals as he sings: "I'm the center of the world and you put me here."

As good as that beginning is, it's the mid-section of the song that slays me. As Fuji cuts loose with a solo that's pure metal, we get one more chorus and then the song suddenly shifts into reggae mode, with Fuji playing yet another blazing solo over the mellow riff. It's a great exercise in musical contradictions that has to be heard to be believed.

"Dirty Electricity" sounds like Megadeth's "Holy Wars ... The Punishment Due," married to a punk rock beat during the verses, and features another superb solo from Fuji.

"Stalker Vibe" is my favorite song of the EP, with Friedman alternating between mostly melodic vocals and screams, and some excellent bass work by Malloy. The way "Stalker Vibe" alternates between heavy, distorted guitar and light, almost reggae-ish guitar, shows a level of musical mastery uncommon in punk.

With some great bass and guitar work at the beginning, the next song, "Nervous Around Me," is a bit Offspring-ish during the verses, but there's nothing wrong with a catchy chorus or two.

A couple of songs start off sounding the same (bass intros are used on three of the six songs), but even that's really not a knock. If you're looking for punk rock packed with metal solos, you'll admire "Admire the Liar."

Highs: Superb solos in "Admire the Liar" and "Dirty Electricity," great bass playing in "Stalker Vibe."

Lows: A few of the songs start off sounding the same.

Bottom line: A great metal-tinged punk album.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)