Otis the Destroyer – Belushi EP

otd

Rating: ★★★★ ·

“This one goes to 11,” I couldnt help quoting Spinal Taps legendary Nigel Tufnel while listening to Otis the Destroyers freshly released Belushi EP. Recorded with Austins resident Rock n Roll mastermind Frenchie Smith, Belushi unleashes a killer quad combo on the Austin Music Scene.

An avid rock n roller myself, Belushi, and Otis the Destroyer in general, are a welcome antidote to a music scene saturated with cutes-y folks-y ukulele strumming duets. The heart and soul of the music leans heavily on the early 00s charging guitar rock of Grohls Foo Fighters and Hommes Queens of the Stone Age, but Taylor Wilkins penchant for eerie chromaticism sets them apart from these now classic bands.

The lead track Fight comes out taunting the listener with a pumping drum intro and stuttering guitar lick. The chorus comes in quick and threatening and the guitars are layered and mixed masterfully. Cheetah, the single off the EP, follows Fight and builds on intensity. Again, the guitar layering is skillfully executed and the guitar solo screams like a back alley catfight. Otis manages to avoid the pit of muddy, distorted tracks here. It would be easy to leave a listener with ear fatigue from so many roaring six strings, but throughout many listens of the EP I always appreciated how clearly separated the guitar tracks were, and how they managed to be so dang loud (…this one goes to 11). Guitar aficionados and engineers out there will understand how difficult it is to make a record sound and feel loud its a feat thats hard to do right, and quite frankly it can make or break a record like Belushi.

My favorite track off the EP was actually not the single Cheetah. I absolutely loved Swallow, the third song off the EP. The opening plinking, syncopated riff just took me back to an 80s or 90s opening action montage from some B movie (the movie definitely takes place in a gritty harbor town, and the bad guys definitely all have mustaches). The last chorus on Swallow just crescendos like a damn tidal wave ok actually I am pretty sure this movie in my head is about a crime boss setting off a tidal wave with a stolen generic pan-Asian dictators nuclear bomb. Yea. This one definitely goes to 11.

Closing out the EP with the strong, jarring Hatchet (rated pg-13 for strong language and diminished harmonies), Belushi comes to a satisfying finale. Belushi builds on a strong foundation that Otis the Destroyer has laid out. For those of you headbangers out there missing the golden era of hard rock this EP is a must listen, and music preferences aside Swallow is one of those rare songs that has a genre spanning appeal. Catch them at their EP Release show March 5th link (https://www.facebook.com/events/530556140444240/539749096191611/) with Megafauana, Think No Think, and the Shame and the Waste.

ACL 2015 WE2 In Pictures: Friday Edition

ACLSo, let’s start with the photo portion of our ACL coverage. I have a confession; I sold my soul to take photos of the Foo Fighters. Yes, I signed a release. If the Foo people read this, please try to keep up to your end of the bargain and leave the watermark for ATH and send a little credit our way “as allowed”. I’ll probably never check if you guys use my pics, but be nice.

The Friday edition of photos starts with Avers and ends with the Foos, Son Little, Royal Blood, London Souls, Albert Hammond Jr., Billy Idol, Run The Jewels and Tame Impala in between.

Click through and gaze…

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ACL Lineup Is Here!

untitledThough the lineup unofficially leaked yesterday, we were holding off to make sure everything was all official and whatnot before posting anything.  So if you haven’t seen it yet, the ACL lineup was just announced this morning for both of the festival weekends.  Of course ATH is excited about seeing The Strokes again, but as usual, we’re enjoying the undercards with groups like Kurt Vile, Waxahatchee, Talk in Tongues, Jose Gonzalez, etc.  Check out the full lineup here and form your own opinions.

You can also pick up a 3 day pass at 10am central time by following this link.  Do it.

Show Review: Foo Fighters ACL Taping (11/20)

Photo by Scott Newton“We’re gonna keep on playing until they kick us the f**k out, so here’s a song you might know,” announced Foo Fighters lead singer/guitarist/documentarian/nicest mother**ker you’ll ever meet, Dave Grohl, before launching into “My Hero,” from the 1997 album The Colour and the Shape.  It was one of countless surreal moments from the final episode of the 40th season of Austin City Limits on Thursday night.

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The ACL Bottom 5

Yeah we’re going there ACL. For all the numerous good things that happen during our little festival, there are always a few things people tend to complain about (whiners). We’re keeping this list just a bit short because I think most agree that the positives of the weekend always outweigh the negatives. Things not included on this list are complaints we have every year like: $8 Lonestars, $6 hamburgers that taste like dirt, long bathroom lines, and the like. Those are things we all hate but won’t be changing anytime soon. No, with this list, we hope the good people at C3 hear our cries and makes this festival the one everybody talks about.  So without further ado….. The Austin Town Hall Top 5 worst moments at ACL after the jump.
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