Oddities Weak Days

The Oddities are a well-oiled machine, packing a strong punch in the realms of production, emceeing, DJing, breakdancing and graffiti. Divided into three distinct subgroups (Audible, Optical and Bodible), the Toronto-based collective have been rocking the Canadian scene in one form or another since 1996. Though the Audible Oddities boast a handful of quality solo releases, the Weak Days twelve-inch is the group's first collaborative project. The delay might be surprising, given the crew's history and generous talent pool, but nothing about the Odds has ever been hasty. They're all about slow and steady winning the race, focusing on quality and developing a solid, three-tiered approach to the artistry of hip-hop that leaves little room for criticism. The single reflects the Odd commitment to hip-hop's various elements, featuring shots of all seven Odds on the cover, intricate art by Optical Oddity Wysper, and a credit list that pays equal respect to each member. Only three songs long (with two instrumentals tacked on for longer-lasting enjoyment), the tracks on Weak Days manage to capture several different Audible styles, jumping from deadpan insight to dark introspection to bouncy playfulness. The title track is by far the strongest, with solid production and smooth verbage, courtesy of Psy, Bookworm and J-StaRRRrrr!!!. The three pass the mic around, switching up the topic with ease and never giving their melodic word attack a chance to slow down or slip. Bookworm goes solo on "Hookers & Gin," weaving a crooked narrative of sin and vice, his words thick as molasses. While "Pick-Up Rhyme" rounds off the single, with Sni-Whip and J-StaRRRrrr!!!'s tag-team effort to woo the females being endearing in its dorkiness. Each song can easily stand on its own, but the juxtaposition of the three makes for some unbalanced listening; an Oddities full-length is sorely needed to fill the spaces in between. (Oddlyenough)