Mephisto Odyssey

Mephisto Odyssey

The Deep Red Connection

Warner Bros.

With enough body-shaking twists and testosterone-filled turns, California-based Mephisto Odyssey’;s major label debut, The Deep Red Connection, is set to crash your party. Only it stumbles in rather than making its intended grand entrance into dance consciousness. The opening “Some Kinda Freak” sounds way too similar to a Crystal Method B-side to maintain its own identity. After a few more minutes of rehashing and ineffectual drones, the record picks up the pace a tad with the deep house strains of “Sexy Dancer.” Still a bit too minimal and safe to leave any sonic residue, the quintet forges on with Portishead-lite fare of “I Breathe You.” The murky number segues near-perfectly into the jungle stomper “Jump,” featuring some cat named Jamalski.

As the first half winds down, it is somewhat taxing to stay tuned to the rest, but the band gives it their all. Along with a cavalcade of guests including Static X and Mad Lion, Odyssey rush through dub and annoying techno-rock, only to enter the deep house again and collapse on the floor to the ethereal closer, “Wish.” Perhaps the saving grace of the record, this track reminds me of Slowdive at their peak. The band should have explored their feminine side a bit more, like they do on this number, because for the majority of the album, Mephisto Odyssey doesn’;t quite make the connection.

Warner Bros. Records, 3300 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505-4694, http://www.wbr.com

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