Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sons Of Otis

Heavy space doom from Toronto. These guys have an amazingly heavy psychedelic sound.
If you took all your Robin TROWER, Albert King, ZZ Top, and Hendrix records, melted them down, and then pressed them into one 300 gram LP and played it at 8 RPM you`d be on the right track (
From their MySpace site:
If the Bermuda Triangle or Twilight Zone existed in the Canadian music scene, then Toronto's Sons of Otis would be their prime resident. The band creates a genre unto its own, unique enough to become a patented prescription medication. Known for their trance-like neuron-firing live performances which include spinning lights and smoke machines, Sons of Otisprove to audiences everywhere that they can summon spaceships and create supernovas. Sons of Otis have shared the stage with bands like Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Clutch, Fu Manchu, New Kingdom, Voivod, Electric Wizard and Shallow North Dakota. The seed was planted in late 1992 by the trio's founder/guitarist/vocalist Ken Baluke, an export from Detroit, Michigan. The band was originally dubbed Otis, in homage to the character of the same name in the cult film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Enter bassist Frank Sargeant in 1994 when the band released a 6 track EP entitled Paid To Suffer. The instant success of the EP as well as a presitigious reputation in the underground Toronto music scene led them to a recording contract that same year with Canadian label Hypnotic Records. Just before their first full-length disc SpaceJumboFudge was released in 1996, the band had to affix 'Sons Of' in front of their name due to a legal conflict with a US band with the same name. SpaceJumboFudge was to be the only album to come out of the record deal. It trickled over to Europe where it garnered legendary status among fans of the 'heavy music' genre. Soon after its release, a plethora of problems arose with their label whch led to a nullfication of their contract. For the following three years, Ken and veteran bassist Frank reclusively retreated to their basement rehearsal space and re-evaluated what needed to be done. They decided to write the heavies, mind altering t tunes known to mankind. The prerequisite for Ken's writing style was simple - "If it sounded heavy when my guitar was unplugged, then it could only be even more crushing when it was plugged in". However, an unusually long germination ensued due to the fact that they went through 10 drummers, who for various reasons could not adjust to the regimental work ethic of the band, which involved rehearsing at least 3 times a week. They temporarily had to revert to the unheard of use of a drum machine (gasp!) to fill the void and create vibrations. In the summer of 1998, these same vibrations were felt in San Francisco, a place that is no stranger to seismic activity. One character awoken up by this bowel-rumbling heaviness was infamous poster artist Frank Kozik, head guru of Man's Ruin records. The resulting product is Templeball, the band's second full-length release. After a European tour with Electric Wizard, and finally settling on a temporary studio and live drummer, Tony Jacome (Shallow North Dakota), the band entered the studio for their debut release for The Music Cartel. The result is Songs For Worship. Songs contains some of the most organically dense and psychedelic riffage known to man. Each track billows forth from uncharted regions of the cosmos--especially the riffed-out version of the Hendrix classic, "In From The Storm". Ken's vocals echo from underneath, seemingly processed by a series of relayed satellites from ultra-deep space. Utilizing only the finest vintage customized instruments, amplification and recording equipment, the band has already gained notoriety as being 'the heaviest' around. Songs For Worship will only solidify this reputation both here and in distant solar systems... The next chapter in the OTIS camp was finding a full-time drummer and so it was. The Gods gave us Ryan Aubin, a young buck from the Dale Crover school of pounding!!!!! With the band now solid once again it was time to record "X". With the help of Billy Anderson, this is by far the best example of the OTIS sound!! Now teaming up with Small Stone Records out of Detroit, the band is ready for their next trip.....

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