Boasting an ultra-melodic metalcore style all their own, Huntington Beach, CA's Odd Project may just have inaugurated a new subgenre called "emo metal" with their 2004 debut, The Second Hand Stopped. Indeed, elements of both emo and metal are bridged by hardcore and made readily evident in opener "Statistics Like Cigarettes," but the real secret behind additional standouts like "A Hero's Trial," "Tear Stained Lies," and "Silver Screen Lovers" is the band's innate ability to mix and match their various components. In effect, this means unexpectedly launching into shockingly violent metal outbursts just when the emo quotient reaches overwhelmingly sentimental levels, and vice versa. Needless to say, the balance to all this is predictably tenuous throughout, and whether it succeeds or fails will ultimately depend on the listener's willingness to be as flexible as the music itself. But, whatever the case, most would agree that Odd Project courts certain disaster by snapping the album's considerable momentum in half with a pompously emotive piano and electric guitar instrumental sappily titled (gulp!) "Love." Still, that potentially dangerous miscalculation aside, The Second Hand Stopped is an irrepressible -- and often irresistible -- concoction likely to impress, if not instantly convert, members from all camps.
The Second Hand Stopped Review
by Eduardo Rivadavia