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Elegance isn't normally a word associated with rock 'n' roll, but Ode's music is just that-elegant. Combining modern day rock with Latin and classical flavorings, while incorporating the four-piece's Balkan roots makes for a sound that is at once familiar yet fresh. Not afraid to wear influences such as Nick Cave, Depeche Mode and David Bowie on their sleeve, Ode is also determined to stand out from the rest.
The band's debut album, "On My Way To Learn," is unabashedly passionate. From Davor Palos' stinging velvet lead vocals and Sandra Korbar's gypsy violin to Robert Palos' haunting guitar and Damir Ara's melodic bass, the album is graced with a maturity belying the members' youthful ages. Recorded over 14 days in Chicago's famed Electrical Audio studios, "On My Way To Learn" crackles with energy and is ablaze in intensity. With this level of emotion it is easy to fall into bombast, yet Ode successfully avoids this trap. Tracks "Tango" and "Silent Favor," with their Eastern European-tinged hooks and key choruses, will stick with listeners long after the album ends.
"On My Way To Learn" merely previews what Ode is capable of in a live setting. Already garnering acclaim and a loyal following by playing in Chicago's finest local music venues, including the Elbow Room, Martyrs, Gunther Murphy's, Uncommon Ground and Coyle's Tippling House, Ode's live shows showcase Davor's unique voice and its ability to fill a room. The joy of the members onstage is palpable, which easily transfers over to the audience, creating an unforgettable event.
Together since the fall of 2001, Ode's four members have been through a roller coaster ride to arrive at this point. Brothers Robert and Davor Palos were born in Tuzla, Bosnia and experienced first hand the havoc of the Bosnian war before moving to Austria and finally the U.S. These "irregular" experiences, as Davor calls them, can be heard in Robert's brooding melodies and the desolate images found in Davor's lyrics.
In a fateful turn of events the brothers found themselves attending high school with another Bosnian native and musician, Damir Ara. Robert and Davor had already begun playing and writing together and it seemed like the natural progression to include Damir into the fold. Immediately the three established a connection that remains the core of Ode. In hopes of adding something unique to their rock sound and integrating the musical tradition of their homeland, the current incarnation of Ode enlisted the talent of Sandra Korbar and her lucid violin.
Damir compares Ode's music to a woman, one who is sweet, but at a moment's notice can turn fierce. And just like a woman, Ode can toy with your emotions and keep you coming back for more.
WINDY CITY TIMES
Music: Springtime in Chicago
by Gregg Shapiro
Ode's Balkan roots set them apart from the other artists mentioned here. Sandra Korbar's "gypsy violin," paired with Davor Palos's vocals give the songs an exotic, but approachable flavor. Highlights from the band's debut disc On My Way To Learn ( www.odeband.com ) include "Nova," "Done With The Rain," "Albany Ave.", "September," and the instrumental "Coffee, Tea or Enemy."
BY JIM DEROGATIS POP MUSIC CRITIC
Chicago Sun Times
Ode, "On My Way to Learn" (www.odeband.com)
Singer-songwriter Davor Palos and his bandmates are mining a much darker and moodier vein of ork-pop, drawing inspiration from that master of the murder ballad, Nick Cave, and evoking the gypsy violin antics of the Dirty Three, thanks to Sandra Korbar's haunting string work. Recorded live at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio Studio, these 12 tracks boast a startlingly powerful sound, shifting at the drop of a backbeat from a whispered seduction to a raging fury, and maintaining a delicious creepiness throughout. ("I wake up every morning/Knowing my dreams/Have been warnings," Palos sings in "On My Way to Learn.")