Odd Robot’s Debut LP Will Croon Its Way Into Your Heart

In 1991 at an all-ages punk show in suburban Chicago, the opening band blew everyone away with their great blend of pop punk and power pop. They were The Smoking Popes, and I was moved to put out their first record, the ‘Inoculator’ EP. They became one of the more influential bands of the genre, and noted in particular for the crooning vocals of front man Josh Caterer. It was a sound that I didn’t think anyone would ever come close to replicating.

So when I received Odd Robot’s debut LP, ‘A Late Night Panic,’ with a note that said they sounded similar to The Smoking Popes, my first thought was, “Yeah, right.” Skeptically, I played the tracks and was amazed by one of the strongest and most exciting debuts I’ve ever heard. Indeed, they have a sound similar to the Popes and to The Alkaline Trio, particularly akin to their earlier records.

After listening to the album a few dozen times and seeing the band perform live I asked Burris what his plans for the band are. “We’ll have to see,” was the only reply, as I implored him to do something with it. This is band that has to be heard far and wide. Take a listen and see if you don’t agree with me.