The Aether Eater
/jagjaguwar; 2005/






With The Aether Eater Odawas are aiming for an epic. Or if they don’t blatantly say so, judging by the press materials it’s safe to say that they believe this record to be a journey of some sort. They reference everyone and everything, from Camus to the Beach Boys, from Dante to Virgil. The problem is Aether Eater clocks in at a very un-epic thirty-eight minutes and twenty-nine seconds. And they come off sounding like Pink Floyd.

But listen—there’s a lot of very interesting material on this CD (the vinyl pressing, compliments of Birds and Rockets, is limited to 300 copies so grab one while you can if there are any left). So many sounds and sections are great on this short disc but it’s the whole of The Aether Eater where things fall apart. Patches of interesting sound bits are not enough; on this cd they are scattered between long sections of uneventful or just plain pointless meandering.

“If It Smells Like A Rain Cloud” begins the journey properly with echoing whistle, Mario RPG keyboards and high pitched, squeaky electronics. It’s the one song on the CD where messiness and a smorgasbord of sounds coalesce into something truly amazing. “The Golden Fog” begins ominously with long, drawn out guitar noodling and various effects until roughly the 2:20 mark where what sounds like ancient strings and looping noises dissolve into scary, abstract, electronic yelping. The really short ‘songs’ like “The Bones of Pangaea” are interesting but feel as if they haven’t been fully developed into what they could be. “Ant Man Messiah Elijah” is an interesting trip. Regal strings dance with plodding bass while a woman’s voice goes on ranting stuff out of Dante. Odawas definitely have it in them to create a genuine masterpiece, they just need to focus, tighten things up a lot more and realize that the whole journey is more important then it’s parts.

- Andrew Iliadis

/december 2005/