Cover Photo by Chris Kleinmeier
I don’t know about y’all, but I am a sucker for side projects. When an artist in a prominent band creates art on the side, it’s really special. Odis P., otherwise known as Koe Wetzel’s guitarist Michael Odis Parrish, blessed our ears on the 24th of February with his debut solo album, Hopeless & Reckless. Odis has released a couple singles over the past couple years (“Take Me Home” and “High & Dry”), but anyone who has been following along with him has been itching for this record for quite some time. Well, it’s finally here. Instead of me acting like I’m smart by trying to explain the symbolism and meaning to the album, just read what the man himself said. Odis P. posted this on Facebook following the release:
This album follows the journey of a man who thought he had everything figured out. He was ready to charge the gates of Hell and save the world. But along the way when faced with judgmental people, unanswerable questions and hard times he finds out that even with the best intentions, good men are still merely men. We are imperfect and make mistakes. We can lose sight of who we are called to be and find out we’ve dug ourselves into a hole that seems impossible to get out of.
So it’s about a struggle with our impulses, ambitions, questions and deep wounds. It’s about making mistakes that we said we would never make and facing the person we never wanted to become.
But it doesn’t end there.
This is a journey that motivates us to keep fighting the good fight, even when we’ve hit rock bottom. It’s meant to push us to keep hope alive even when it feels like the darkness is winning. It’s a prodigal son story that ends with a homecoming and a love song to my wife- without her support and trust I wouldn’t have been able to do this.
Even if you’ve wandered far from who you wanted to be restoration, grace and redemption have followed you the whole way; patiently persisting, but not insisting. No matter what you’ve done or how alone you feel, there is someone that loves you. No matter how far you have wandered, you’re not too far gone.
I want to tell this story to explain the freedom comes from realizing that you don’t have the answers and that’s okay. There’s also freedom in embracing the fact that we are in need of saving. I wrote this album to express the consistent joy that faith in Jesus has brought my life- despite the questions that I’ll never have answers to, the hateful people who tried their best to knock me off course, and mistakes that I’ve made. Following Jesus and trying to live with that type of compassion and understanding has brought meaning to my life in ways that make the questions somewhat exhilarating and the mistakes insignificant.
God loves the hopeless & reckless.
The record kicks off with “Heart of Gold”, a track reminiscent of the old pop-punk days. This is evident through the opening riff and even the way the verses are performed. The chorus is great and the melody is very pleasant sounding. “Vicious Dogs” opens with beautiful acoustic guitar and slowly builds as the song goes on. Through the crescendo, we get to hear some fantastic songwriting encased in a haunting aesthetic. The next track is “High & Dry”, a previously released single that leans a lot in to the pop-punk sound. The guitar is the main driving force throughout the song with a chorus that will 100% stick with you for a while.
“Brass Knuckles” is definitely my favorite on the album. It stands out with the gritty blues influence and mixes with Odis’s subtle voice surprisingly well. After that is “Take it Away,” which has a heavy intro right off the bat, then snaps back to a low-key, retro-sounding mood. The drums really stand out on this one. “Half the Man” is produced very well, and the songwriting is on point. The ambience throughout the track is great and every guitar lick and drum hit rips through you.
The title track, “Hopeless & Reckless,” is a wonderful acoustic performance that spotlights Odis’s story telling. It also showcases his vocals in a calmer setting. The other previous single, “Take Me Home,” is unique to me. I don’t know if it’s just my weird brain, but something about it reminds me of a cooler version of a sea shanty or an Irish drinking song of some sort. It’s a good song regardless with a very impressive hook. “Captivated” is a straight up beautiful track to end on and I enjoyed all eight minutes of it. Truly a wonderful love song.
In a nutshell, Hopeless & Reckless is a great release by Odis P. and a hell of a strong debut album. We are all looking forward to seeing what else he will do outside of playing for Koe Wetzel. Make sure to give him a follow and buy/stream his music!
Odis P.’s socials:
You can also visit his website here.