Odoj, Roman - Fiasko

Kev Rowland

Although guitarist Roman Odoj has been active in different bands in his local scene for some years, this is his debut solo album. Here he has been joined by multiple musicians, which includes three different keyboard players, a couple of different singers, plus we also get a violin, a cellist, some saxophone players yet instead of it adding to the overall music it somehow detracts. While this is indicated by ProgArchives as a crossover progressive album, others may just call this alternative rock with little overtly progressive elements within it. For me this is a very uneven release, with neither singer really doing themselves or the music justice, and songs like “Castaway”, which turns into electronic reggae at one point, should have been left in the studio and never been put on the album.

This is a shame, as Roman has a fluid touch, and when he allows himself to take centre stage it is far more interesting than when he is in the background, and it is his solos which bring the music to life. To my mind it would be better in future for him to work in an instrumental band environment where he is the leader, and for the group to work together with his guitar as the melodic focal point. There are too many times when this feels like an independent project, almost a demo, with too much in the way of electronics and programming. But when he allows himself to come forward such as on “Eurydice” then it is transformed, even though on that particular song I would have preferred a totally different structure behind it. A work in progress, it will be interesting to hear what the next release is like.

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