The Olympians by The Olympians was released on October 28, 2016. If it’d been released a year or two earlier, there’s a better than even chance it’d have made my Top 100 list the first time around.
The Olympians is something of a throwback record, with a strong nod to 70s funk and soul. You’ve got generous helpings of horns, slick guitar, and sweet, sweet strings to soothe your mind. At the same time, there’s plenty of groove that is virtually guaranteed to put some swing in your step.
The Olympians’ 11 tracks are all instrumentals with titles that evoke Greek gods and myths, like “Sirens of Jupiter,” “Apollo’s Mood,” and “Europa and the Bull.” It’s left as an exercise to the listener to piece together a narrative that goes along with the song title.
Given the album’s cinematic feel, that’s not hard at all. You can close your eyes and just imagine some of the myths (if you’re like me) you read in middle school and summon epic action scenes on a cosmic scale. One of these days I want to sync up The Olympians with the original Clash of the Titans and see how well some of the tracks mesh with Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion animation creatures.
Every track on this album is pure gold. I don’t know that the album breaks any new ground, but it really doesn’t need to. It brings players from The Budos Band, The Dap Kings, El Michels Affair, The Arcs and more under the direction of Toby Pazner to cook up a “temple of sound.” Sign me up for the Church of The Olympians, because I’m ready to convert!
The only bummer about this album? Since 2016, the band hasn’t convened again to produce a full follow-up. (At least as far as I know.) Since its release, there’ve been two singles released via Bandcamp but still holding out hope we’ll see a full length LP sometime soon.