Odor of Pears is a surprisingly engaging and unique project that loosely falls into the goth world that you might associate with bands from Siouxsee and the Banshees to Skinny Puppy. The trio is comprised on Diana Blackwell on vocals, Joe K. on music and Russell, who handles visuals for the band. Judging by what I've read on the outfit, the CD represents only part of their presentation, since their live show is reputed to be fairly extravagant. But since their CD, Crown of Thorns, is the evidence at hand for which I shall judge them, we'll stick to the music aspect of the band.
A lot of widely ranging influence makes up the band's musical portfolio. There is a mood captured throughout that reminds me quite a bit of early Skinny Puppy mood, particularly around Mind: the Perpetual Intercourse. Odor of Pears harbors little of the actual Skinny Puppy sound, but both are successful in capturing a definite mood. There are also exotic eastern sounds, especially as evidenced on the album opener "Invocation". Blackwell's vocals are placed strategically within the mix, occasionally processed or altered somewhat. She doesn't tend to stray outside her range, which is quite wise. Lyrically she doesn't beat around the bush whatsoever, as provocative titles such as "Dildo" or "Fuck Christianity" demonstrate. The band is best when they work within the concept of an atmospheric approach, such as the first three songs on the album. The songs come across as expansive, emotional and very etherial. Except for "Dildo", the album conveys that sound extremely well.
Crown of Thorns is an impressive release, deserving of attention for anyone into dark, or "gothy" music. Surprisingly mood altering (in a good way) and beautiful, this album is going to find its way onto my stereo fairly often. -- John Chedsey
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© Odor of Pears 2004, Rev: 02/10/04