“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/