EP: The Odd Advantage – Songs We Wrote in High School

California’s The Odd Advantage just dropped a five song EP titled “Songs We Wrote in High School”. While I had heard a few of their songs before, I couldn’t tell you anything about the band. I’ve seen their name on shows in California for years with bands I like, but for some reason I never sought them out, so this is my first real experience actually listening to the band.

My first impression is really good. All five tracks on this EP sound good, and they show off a pretty decent range for songwriting and scope of sound. 

My initial favorite track on this album is 911. The tempo at the beginning gets me going, and the story is just fun. It’s a nice, up pace punk and ska song, tland the more punk elements actually make the song stand out more, with the drop into ska rhythms feels great. Then it drops into a Latin ska rhythm with Spanish lyrics to show of some more diversity, I fucking love this song, and that’s before the shout of “Fuck the Cops” to really win me over.

“Good Day” is another nice, fun song. It starts off nice and slow, with a horn dominant rhythm, then a quick ska rhythm drops in on the guitar, with a quick tempo verse and the pace picks it up nicely with short bursts from the trumpet for accent. It’s just fun and quick before dropping back down. The temp and pacing play with nice light lyrics is just fun. I can see this being particularly fun live.

While “One Girl” is just as fun, musically, as the other two tracks, the lyrics just don’t do anything for me. The album is titled “Songs We Wrote in High School” and this song about the pursuit of a girl at a ska show feels like it was written by someone in high school, which is unfortunate, because it is a great track. It blends more rock elements and has great guitar work and features some vocal screams. “Skank Party” is more of the same- great music, catchy riffs, but sophomoric lyrics about pursuing a girl at a ska show. Incredible, fun music all the way through the song, with great guitars, keys, and horns. Fun, danceable rhythms throughout the song, but lyrics that don’t resonate with me.

“Do it for the Love” has some of my favorite bass guitar on the album, the keys feature a little better in the spaces on this track, and it features a bit of an instrumental jam to highlight the different talents in the band, which is always fun. The song has a bit of a danceable bop rhythm that feels like an opener to a set. It’s a good song to get you interested in the band, it shows off all the instruments to introduce everyone. It’s light and fun, but also really good, and the message is just about loving to make music. 

Overall the album is really good. The music is great, definitely set to keep people dancing, showing off a diversity of styles. The fact that it goes from ska punk, to Latin ska, to a rock- almost a ska core sound with vocal screams, to a more reggae tempo all feels great. The Odd Advantage can play something for almost everyone.

Written by Gimpleg