Not every punk rocker flames out in spectacular disaster. Some of them grow up, get married and have kids. If you're Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye and Warmers drummer Amy Farina, you do all that while playing as The Evens.
The Odds is the duo's third album, and the first since 2006's Get Evens and the birth of their son in 2008. The sound of punk lifers settling down is actually just what you would expect it to be. It's still rebellious, but more thoughtful and quiet. The jagged edges are smoothed over and melodies replace shouting.
What's most jarring about the record is how underproduced it sounds, especially if you've been listening to the reverb-drenched rock or glistening synth pop that's inescapable right now. This is what rock sounds like when musicians take it easy on the knob twisting. And while MacKaye and Farina have mellowed out, the music isn't totally without rough edges. Things get a little rougher with a darker riff and howling vocals from Farina on “Warble Factor” and “Broken Finger,” for instance.
The sentiment isn't “fuck you,” it's “here's what's wrong with x... fuck that.” Get Evens was packed with political commentary and included a song called “Dinner With The President,” imagining that scenario with lines like "I don't exist in their worldview / But if I went, I know what I'd like to do / Stand up and scream while the food is served." The Odds isn't quite so political, but the anger is still there in songs like “Wanted Criminals” and its refrain of “jails in search of prisoners.” They've updated from Bush-era rage to a more Occupy-friendly mentality -- calling out the powers that be for stomping all over the little guys.
They're not putting up the fierce fight of youth, but what they still have the drive and a reason to fight -- and he's silhouetted on the album cover.