Odds were on the upswing for their second album, Bedbugs. Not only did they get the Canadian comedy troupe The Kids In The Hall to be in the video for the album’s first single, Heterosexual Man, but they also locked in THEE Warren Zevon as a fan.
Warren was so impressed with their song Wendy Under The Stars from Neopolitan that he had scooped them up as his touring band in support of his Mr. Bad Example album. He also appears officially on a couple of songs on here, so Zevon completionists are going to need to add Bedbugs to the checklist.
The first song with Warren is the album’s opener, Jack Hammer. I found it to be a weak tune with a rather boring melody. It begins with a ZZ Top-ish riff but then it is quickly not. Warren plays what the liner notes call a “Swamp Guitar” and another studio musician, Robert Quine is added to play the “pain guitar”. Well, I suppose that might be why this one is a little different and I’m somewhat surprised to see how it was released as a single.
The much better tune with Warren is Yes (Means It’s Hard To Say No). What a gorgeous song. Don’t take my word for it. Just listen:
Warren is more appropriately placed at the piano and THIS really should have been the single. But, you know Canadian radio. There might have been too many mellow songs on the radio at the time or some other BS reason the people in charge come up with.
What Bedbugs is best known for is its two hits. It Falls Apart was a darling of Canadian FM radio in the mid to late ’90s. And, I just checked Toronto’s Rock station, Q107’s playlist. They just played it this morning on February 17th, 2022 at 3:01AM. So, it appears to have had some staying power. The other tune is Heterosexual Man. As I mentioned before, this one was marketed with a video featuring 60% of The Kids In the Hall which got a ton of play on Canada’s music station, Much Music.
I’ve always loved the video and song. Its only crime is how it came out in ’93-’94 when I was discovering AC/DC and Ozzy at the same time. So, Odds took a back seat. But, that is the cool thing about music. Once it is done, it is always there just waiting for you to get at it. Even if it is almost 30 years later.
I also really like Car Crash Love which might be the first song I’ve heard from Odds with a genuine ripping guitar solo. It is pretty rockin’ and makes me wonder why we don’t hear more dancing on the frets from them. Do You Know? is a solid track too with some nice piano work throughout. It has me wondering if they snuck Warren in on the DL.
Besides Jackhammer, there are two more tunes on Bedbugs I found to be a little weak. Sweetness & Love is OK overall but the lame chorus kind of drags it down, and The Little Death is a misstep with its Spin Doctors-ish vibe. But that is all for the negative. Love of Minds and The Best Things I found to be average songs, but what I really like is how this album lands with two strong Craig Northey-driven tunes.
What I Don’t Want and Fingerprints are (again) mellow tracks that are criminally ignored. Fingerprints especially has those Northey-tangible lyrics that I love so much:
There might be the good old days
If all the right things get forgotten
A smile can still be photogenic
If you can’t see the molars are rotten
Ooo yeah… take that, photo album memories!
I usually save the back of the album as the final image on my reviews, but we have to look at one final piece on it before we go. Check out the wording on the left side of the tracklist:
Hmmm…. are these words insinuating that these songs belong together to form one narrative? Does this make Bedbugs a concept album? Well, I have heard concept albums that are strung together with thinner threads. Let’s say “yes” because it is hard to say “no”.
The odds are you need more Odds/Craig Northey/Strippers Union in you:
[Album Review] Odds | Neopolitan
[Album Review] Odds | Bedbugs
[Album Review] Odds | Good Weird Feeling
[Album Review] Odds | Nest
[Album Review] Craig Northey | Giddy Up
[Album Review] Northey Valenzuela
[Album Review] Strippers Union | Stripper’s Union Local 518
[Album Review] The New Odds | Cheerleader
[Album Review] Strippers Union | The Deuce
[EP Review] Odds | The Most Beautiful Place On Earth
[EP Review] Odds | Game Face On
[EP Review] Odds | Party Party Party
[Album Review] Strippers Union | 3- The Undertaking