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And somewhere on a front porch in Fullerton, California in fall 2001, Odelia was born. Originally consisting of members Jason Hensley, Daniel Johns, and Bob Lexin, veterans of an earlier group called Frank Falupa, the three decided on a new band with a more unstructured approach, incorporating loops and non-traditional rock instruments, switching off said instruments during songs, and a general DIY approach. Taking advantage of both the ease of home recording -- Hensley taped all their material either at his place or a practice studio using a basic four-track/computer setup -- and self-releasing in the 21st century, the group put out its first album, Argyplanischa, in 2002. Reflecting the band's live approach, it emphasized instrumental atmosphere over conventional song and lyrical structure, resulting in an enjoyable if slightly amorphous debut. The band themselves felt, in retrospect, that the album was more of a snapshot than a perfect portrayal, but things took a turn for the better with the recruitment of Reuben Mahler, the group's first original fan outside of the trio's circle of immediate friends. Mahler played keyboards, something the band had been looking to include, and a new cycle of writing and recording led to the band's second album, 2003's The Angel as an Imposter. A more focused, stronger album with wider variety than Argyplanischa, it helped cement the group's growing local reputation along with a series of live appearances, with the quartet looking towards the creation of a third album in 2004. ~ Ned Raggett

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