SONS OF OTIS (Seismic) CD
Trends come and go, but one thing is here to stay: SONS OF OTIS. For more than 18 years now, Ken Baluke (guitar, vocals) and crew explore their own dark galaxy that is filled with psychedelic stardust, massive riffs (which weigh several tons) and a good dash of blues, because that's what you get when you're a lonely traveller. 'Seismic' is the newest entry in the log book and it is among the best sonic trips recorded by Canada's uncrowned heavyweight champions. Their 2001 album 'Songs for Worship' was some sort of low point in their career but since 'X' the band is back on track again. Further proof of this came from 'Exiled', SONS OF OTIS' second album for Small Stone Records that has been released in 2009. And now 'Seismic', which outshines everything previous. And not because 'X' and 'Exiled' were below average, but rather because 'Seismic' is sooo fuckin' good.
Here we have seven killer tunes which show that still nobody sounds like SONS OF OTIS. 'Seismic' will push you into your seat, almost as if you have smoked a strong Indica plant. Words like 'monolithic' and 'crushing' are perfect in this regard and receive their original meaning again. And despite all the heaviness and grimness, there is still enough room for a bluesy, psychedelic twist. SONS OF OTIS are truly masters of their craft providing the listener with a perfect combination of doom, blues, psychedelica and heavy rock. As always, I really dig Ken Baluke's emotional, Hendrix-esque guitar solos, which form a powerful contrast to the menacing riffs. Not forgetting his grim, reverb-drenched vocals, and this time he sounds particularly pissed off.
Special mention should be made of drummer Ryan Aubin who always finds a way to release additional energy with his dynamic drumming style, while bassist Frank Sargeant adds an enormous depth to SONS OF OTIS' oversized heaviness. Also this time the band has included a cover version and the choice fell to 'Never In My Life' from Mountain. Basically, this is no surprise because it's the third time that SONS OF OTIS pay tribute to one of the heaviest bands from the early 1970's. As before, they do a pretty good job, even if the self-penned songs are much stronger. But it's always nice to hear a well-known song after getting a special treatment of SONS OF OTIS, and this also holds good for that track. So, what else can I say? 'Seismic' lives up to its title and SONS OF OTIS impressively prove that they are still one-of-a-kind. If you dig the heavy, buy this album immediately if not sooner.