Fucking wow. My cerebral cortex is melting in a cranial orgasm of riff-based space sludge. Stoners everywhere – buy this. Toronto based trio Sons Of Otis have been jamming around since 1992, and in that time have put out a stash of fabulous tripped-out tortoise-tempo albums. This is their new one, and it smokes like Cheech and Chong in a hydroponic basement of purest green.
Kicking off with ‘Haters’, a ten and a half minute grand psychedelic sludge opus which encapsulates the sound of a huge retarded slug deity crushing buildings and shitting out rivers of slime, this is an album that screams out “play me as loud as you can get away with before the killjoy neighbours come knocking”. ‘Lost Soul’ follows in similar exhilarating fashion – a ploddingly dense and cleverly simple riff from mainman Ken Baluke (a veritable and criminally unsung axe hero), stretched out and melted under psychotic triumph of the will; Frank Sargeant’s dirty low low low end bass grinding and twisting underneath; Ryan Aubin’s drums as crisp and as hard hit as a resurrected Bonzo on steroids, all topped off with Ken’s far away and fuzzed out vocals, slightly reminiscent of Mark Arm from Mudhoney (which is a very good thing indeed).
‘Bad Man’ is a Lynyrd Skynyrd cover that shows you can play extremely slow and still rock out with real fuckin’ swagger (as Weedeater also ably demonstrate). ‘Oxazejam’ is what I used to imagine the Grateful Dead (apart from the excellent ‘Live/Dead’) would sound like when I was a boy, before I heard their disappointingly lame country jams – soaring and impossibly stoned free-form super-distorted psychedelic rock that is so wild you don’t even need to have taken anything to feel fucked.
‘Tales Of Otis’ kicks out a drop dead heavy semi-tone descending sludge riff that is occasionally cushioned with trippy space noise, and last track, ‘Iron Horse – The Horror’ is a ripping down tempo cover of one of my very favourite Motorhead songs (first album), which fades into an oddly soothing ten minute wash of bizarre guitar noise interspersed with samples of screaming women probably having unspeakable things done to them (presumably ‘The Horror’).
‘Exiled’ is very heavy and very slow – think Jimi Hendrix, John Bonham and Dave ‘Dixie’ Collins out of Weedeater, all blitzed on authentic sixties hashish and LSD, driving a chrome juggernaut, loaded with lead, at exactly one mile per hour, on an eternal desert highway, towards a burning sun. Then you’re getting close.
Scribed by: Adam Stone