It's been a minute since I've kept up with Odonis Odonis. Back in 2016, their album Post Plague was a constant in my ears and on my turntable, however, the band's subsequent releases, while good, didn't quite live up to the same high regard I'd assigned them after what I still feel not only sums up a small era of my life but is one of my favorite records of that decade. So I guess that disconnect explains why I totally missed the fact that they dropped a new record back in October, and what's more, it's FANTASTIC. Special thanks - as always - to Heaven Is An Incubator for posting a track from this and alerting me to it. If you dig, you can order one of the thirteen remaining copies (fourteen until I ordered mine) of Spectrums over on their Bandcamp or from the always marvelous Felte Records.
It goes without saying I'd developed an affinity for this particular song, as it shares a title with the series of novels I've been working on for several years now.
Time Machine GO!!! 1991:
In this past Wednesday's NCBD section, I casually mentioned an idea that kind of occurred to me on the spot but didn't really sink in as to what a profound self-insight I'd inadvertently made, the idea that my reversion to a fairly rabid Marvel Zombie/comic collector had more to do with a return to the things that had made the tumultuous task of navigating adolescent as an unconscious way to deal with the equally rocky navigation of Middle Age. This started with an out-of-the-blue interest in following the last year of Nick Spencer's run on Amazing Spider-Man but has pushed me not only back into following some of the modern X-titles (really, just one and a few mini-series), but a nearly inexplicable longing to rebuy and reread a bunch of the post-Claremont X-men stories, first with 1994's The Phalanx Covenant and now, of all things, the original Onslaught opus.
I want to point out here that these are books that I do not in any way shape or form consider 'good.' Conceptually, perhaps, but writing-wise, not at all. And while Fabien Nicieza had some pretty good chops, when we get into Scott Lobdell territory, well, I just consider that era of X-Men pretty mediocre-to-downright-awful stuff. And yet, here I am, combing the back issue bins at the Comic Bug and reading some of this stuff. And that off-the-cuff comment about reaching back into my past to reconnect with touchstones of my adolescence as a coping mechanism for the Horrors of aging in an era of little compassion and perhaps less tolerance really strikes me now as another instance of how our minds will do what they need to do to cope and survive, even if our personalities are completely unaware of those tragedies. So with that in mind, let me resurrect a moniker from my old Chud days to you about what I'm reading from the past, what I think of it now, and how it holds up.
Okay, granted this 1991's Muir Island Saga is still protected as awesome in my book because it's penned by Chris Claremont, however, it's Claremont's final entry and thus, the gateway to the end of his continuity, or rather the way he approached continuity, so I've always kind of held a grudge against both this series and it's villain, the Shadow King, who for whatever reason, I just could not care less about. That's my 'historical' perspective of this small, four-issue 'saga' that really doesn't feel like a saga at all. A bit short and to the point to be a saga. That said, in this instance, the brevity is good, and unlike the full-blown crossovers and X-Events that began to clog the continuity after the near-perfect triumph of Inferno, Uncanny X-Men 279-280 and X-Factor 69-70 feel like a pretty good story that lines 'em up and knocks 'em down, reworking all the allegiances Claremont had, up to this point, used to divvy up the characters and keep things interesting, paving the way for the 'Blue' and 'Gold' teams that would surface in Jim Lee's X-Men #1 and Uncanny 281, which realigned all the original X-characters like Scott and Jean with the Xavier camp and made X-Factor the new equivalent of Freedom Force, under Valerie Cooper - a character I had completely forgotten about.
The Neverly Boys - The Dark Side of Everything
Lower Dens - Escape From Evil
TVOTR - Return to Cookie Mountain
The Bronx - The Bronx (IV)
Motörhead - Ace of Spades
Motörhead - Overkill
Converge and Chelsea Wolfe - Bloodmoon: I (pre-release singles)
High on Fire - Electric Messiah
High On Fire - Luminiferous
Odonis Odonis - Spectrums
Drab Majesty - Modern Mirror
Mastodon - Hushed and Grim
A reminder to strike while the iron is hot.