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 Weekend 2 Highlights: Friday (10.11)

Walking into the park this past Friday, I should have seen the warning signs; there was a light drizzling rain as I made my way over to the Samsung Stage to catch Wild Nothing.  It would rain off and on throughout the day, though the weather remained clear until the evening sets. We saw some jams, we did things to our livers.

Read on for my highlights of the day and some snap shots of our man, B.Gray.

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Show Review: Queens of the Stone Age ACL Taping

_DSC3860I’ll start off that I’ve always watched Queens of the Stone Age from afar.  Their music hasn’t necessarily always been aligned with my interests, though they’ve had some undeniable jams that I think most people can appreciate.  I headed out to the always incredible ACL Taping on Thursday night to see what the group had to offer live…it was sort of an ACL pre-test.  Read on for my thoughts. Read more

Friday Top 5: Unexpected Appearances at SXSW

It’s March in Austin, TX. It’s the time of year when a particular festival takes over the music capitol of the world, known as South By South West. Since this time last year, we’ve been recovering from the week long flow of free booze, sunburnt skin, worn out shoe soles (and feet for that matter), loss of hearing and lack of sleep; and we’re ready to do it all over again.

The waves of RSVPs are flooding our inboxes and lighting up our Facebook notifications, and before we know it our arms will once again be plastered with multi-colored wristbands. I have only been attending SXSW the past few years, but during that time my friends and I have witnessed many surprises take place and rumors come true. So, here are a few of my favorite.

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FT5: Modern Rock Stars

0115top5coverWe really live in a day and age when the idea of being a rock star is just about gone. Gone are the days of the lead singer who gets mobbed by fans everywhere they go or sleeps in hotel rooms full of strange women.  We don’t even get a lot of musicians with drug and alcohol problems anymore or who quite obviously don’t give a shit what anyone thinks.  You know, those people who were just way cooler than you ever hoped to be?  Dylan, Jagger, Plant, etc.  We all know the names.  That’s what makes them rock stars.  So today I wanted to create a list of those “modern rock stars” who have carried the torch of debauchery and coolness into a new age.  These guys (and gals) represent all the great things about being a rock star: alcohol/drug rehab stints, celebrity girlfriends, trend setting, don’t give a shit attitude, members of popular bands, and decent music all earn you a place on this list.  As a disclaimer I’ll say that all these artists rose to fame in the last decade so this means you won’t see a Dave Grohl or Eddie Vedder on this list because they have long been in the halls of the greats.  I’ll also make an attempt to compare each artist to who they most closely resemble from years past.  Please don’t assume that I’m comparing anyone artistically, I just wanted to give you a  frame of reference.  Follow the jump for the full list.

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FT50: Albums of the ’00s

0828top5coverWhat?   You still listen to THAT album?  That record is so 2004!  Well, that’s okay, because we really like that one too, which is why we decided to come up with a list of our favorite albums of the last decade (2000-2009).  Sure, these might not be YOUR favorite records, or the most critically acclaimed, but we sat down and really thought out every record from the past ten years that we keep coming back to in our collections.  You’re likely to disagree with some of these, and we won’t tell you we’re absolutely right we just know that these happen to be OUR favorites.  If you think we totally blew it here, feel free to tell us so, but be nice, as our egos are kind of fragile.  Follow the jump for more.

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