After Odds released what in my opinion is their best album Nest in 1996, they toured for almost the remainder of the decade until Craig Northey up and quit the band in ’99. Thankfully, he continued to make music. Northey’s 2001 debut solo album, Giddy Up is EP adjacent, with its 8 songs adding up to just under 29 minutes. It was all fresh to me here in 2022 as I had not heard of it before a few weeks ago, and it certainly marches to a different drum than Odds had.
In fact, “the drum” is sometimes a machine. Several times on this album I got the impression that Northey was is aiming for a catchy hit in the style of Sublime’s ’90s What I Got. The vibe is especially strong on the opening track, Take A Hit Off This, and its title track Giddy Up. They are loaded with audio clips, sound effects, and record scratches layered on top of an unwavering drum loop. The songs are slightly reggae/funk/ska with hippy/stoner/feel-good lyrics.
Other songs like Slow Motion, Sons & Daughters, and Famous Grave have a Ben Folds kind of groove. It might not be your cup of tea if you’re coming at it as a fan of Odds, but Northey does make these styles work for him. The only glitch I found is the song After Walking in Space. That one goes a little overboard with the Casio keyboard sound effects as if someone had only just discovered them.
Otherwise, Northey’s super talent as a songwriter neatly ties these songs together with his signature clever lyrics and vocal melodies. Old Mistakes is easily my favourite of the bunch. It is put together really well with a heartfelt guitar solo from veteran studio musician Keith Scott (Bryan Adams, Jann Arden). This is the song I’d throw onto a mixtape.
One final thing I need to mention is the song Write it in Lightning. Here is the song:
And here are my notes from my first listen:
– That shift into high gear feels like The Who. I wondered if that was intentional.
– Switch to a muted pickup like Pete. This has to be about The Who
Well, pat me on the back and hand me a gold star. According to the album’s very limited page on Wikipedia, Northey wrote Write it in Lightning for The Who. They purchased the rights to record it but have yet to do so. *Takes a bow* Man, it would be really cool to hear Rog and Pete record it. I think they would easily knock it out of the park.
I could be wrong, but I feel as if some of the songs on Giddy Up are leftovers Northey had for different projects. Sort of like (just to remain consistent with my references) The Who’s Odds and Sods. Write it in Lightning is incomplete with no real drums or guitar solo, as it originally was meant to be a blueprint for another artist to follow. But, that angle also makes it darn fun to listen to as well.
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