Upon first listening to Farmhouse Odyssey, a five-piece jam band who freely mix elements of progressive rock, jazz, funk and psychedelic moods, one may guess that the band is from the west coast. To be more specific Farmhouse Odyssey began in the fall of 2012 in an actual farmhouse in Arcata, California. The five were all college students, and their sound and writing style became naturally influenced by the beautiful surroundings of the Pacific Northwestern landscape.
Farmhouse Odyssey’s live shows have been described by fans as “face melting” though I didn’t find my face to be at all affected by any of the six tracks on their self-titled debut Farmhouse Odyssey. Instead I found my ears were treated at times to some pretty mellow and relaxing tunes, which could then turn on a dime into much heavier grooves. The five guys play a melodic mixture of instruments, including keyboards, bass, drums and two guitar players as well as vocals, and they know how to freestyle, working as a team, which is a key element in a jam band.
Though only six songs long, Farmhouse Odyssey is quite the odyssey in itself, seeing as the shortest track is just over six-minutes long and all together the average song length is probably close to ten minutes. The opening track is the twelve-plus-minute “So It Would Seem” which starts small and slowly begins to build up, with catchy guitar jingles, and the addition of mellotron and synth bass. As far as the construction of “So It Would Seem” goes, it basically follows the jam band standard of pickups and breakdowns.
Perhaps the most diverse song on the record is the trippy “Colossal Cypress” which combines synth keyboard elements with funky world music beats and some bluesy and at times borderline hard rock guitar parts. “Colossal Cypress” also contains one of the heaviest and most raucous jam sessions I’ve heard out of a band in a long time. Without overstepping my boundaries I would say it could be apprentice in musical arrangement to Queen. However much of these arrangements can be lost due to the oftentimes shoddy sounding recording. It sounds like it was recorded live, which contrary to popular belief, doesn’t sound the same as being at a live show.
The world of sound has come very far since the days of trading Grateful Dead mixed tapes. If you are a band who is going to make rich sounding music, the least you can do for yourselves and your fans is to give the recording a rich sound. And this is generally what hinders much of Farmhouse Odyssey because it sounds like it was recorded at a live show, which if that’s the sound you’re going for then just track it all live, otherwise, invest a little money in recording if you’re serious about your music.
The thing I like best about Farmhouse Odyssey’s debut is that it does invoke a certain peaceful and freeing feeling, much like all psychedelic rock does, and it puts you at ease as you listen. And though it may not be a perfect record, those imperfections begin to blur after a little while and little help from your vice of choice. And the true odyssey experience begins.
Become A Fan
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook