Metal blitz 

Whistler hit hard, fast and heavy with Odessa, Revenue Kanada and Violent Downfall

Who: Odessa, Revenue Kanada, Violent Downfall

When: Saturday, Dec. 17

Where: Boot Pub

Needless to say when guitarist Steve Rio of Odessa turned from the loose jam of funk and Latin music bands of his early music career to the high-octane, screaming punk rock of Odessa, his mother was less than pleased. However, punk aficionados hail the four-piece ticking time bomb with repeatedly sold out shows and the demand for an album currently underway.

"For us, being on stage is so powerful," Rio said. "It is so different from when we used to play Latin or funk music. It’s a lot of free form stuff. This music is so structured in comparison. It’s all about execution on stage. It’s pretty powerful stuff."

Heavy rockers Revenue Kanada and metal heads Violent Downfall will join Odessa Saturday, Dec. 17 at the Boot Pub.

Odessa was born out of a helter-skelter mix of music troubadours, playing everything from funk and jazz to experimental and electric sounds.

Past projects for now Odessa punkers Rio, Hugo Cecereu, Briton Liakakos and Mat Van Dyke include Smoking Frogs, Dank Nuggs, Fndmntl and Alpha YaYa Diallo. Whistlerites may remember Liakakos from his Cold Snap jam rock and The Dank Nuggs funk days at the Boot.

From solo acoustic guitar beginnings, the band has built up a heavier and heavier sound ending with metal’s scream-in-your-face vocals and wailing guitars currently being captured at Factory Studios in Vancouver, where legends such as ACDC, Bon Jovi and Arrowsmith first laid down their tracks.

"We are in the process of working with (Factory Studios) right now," Rio said. "We are not allowed to say we are recording with them yet. We are working out details. I’ve known the owner for a while and he is always interested in different projects. He heard (our music) and jumped on it…. A lot of people are anxious to get our recording in their hands. With that, we are going to get touring in the U.S., Europe or Asia – mostly where people are listening to metal."

Rio said Odessa’s sound is about a year ahead of the punk metal game in Vancouver, a city primarily saturated in mainstream listening.

"With satellite radio in the U.S., the metal/punk scene is huge," he said. "Satellite radio has really opened a lot more doors to different types of music. Bands like us aren’t getting much play here. Our shows sell out, but when you come up here (to Canada), we still are not getting played out on the radio."

Rio describes Odessa’s sound as simply punk metal with hard rock influences played by a couple of regular guys.

"(Frontman) Hugo is the fun chilled happy, laughing guy who gets on stage and he’s the devil," Rio said. "The only thing we don’t carry from heavy metal is vibrato. We like to be cool and have a goodtime. We are not insecure rockers in leather pants and too many tattoos. More regular dudes playing some heavy, heavy stuff."

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