Opportunity Bless My Soul

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Like screwed-up Midwestern thriftstore punks out of a Gus Van Sant movie, Kansas City's the Ssion (pronounced "shun") is hipper, grittier, and funnier than its big city counterparts without even trying. Frontman and songwriter Cody Critcheloe is Madonna reborn as a male; Karen O playing a cross-pollination of X, Pussy Galore, and the B-52's with the attitude of Suckdog. That's a lot of hyperbole to take in, but Opportunity Bless My Soul is such a massive mess of lo-fi dirty dancing and basement junk that it inspires such overreaching comparisons. From the cracked Blonde Redhead sound on "Let Me Hear You Cry" and "Call Out Our Lions" to the ridiculous and infectious pop on the title track, Opportunity sounds so beautifully bad that the album fancifully masks the genuinely amazing songwriting contained within. Not since the first round of no wavers has there been music so magnificently alienating and catchy at the same time. And Critcheloe said his biggest influence is Hole circa Live Through This. If that's not the mark of cool, who knows what is.

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