Sons Of Otis
X (Small Stone)
by Brian Varney
If, like me, you spent a large portion of your youth listening to “In-a-Gadda-da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly through headphones in your dark bedroom, what I’m about to ask will be a very simple exercise indeed. If you weren’t one of those people, you should probably stop reading now. However, if you wanna play along for kicks, you’re first gonna need to obtain copy of the In-A-Gadda-da-Vida LP. This shouldn’t be too hard: If you inherited a stack of dusty, scratched-up records from your folks, chances are good that a copy is included. If you didn’t, hit the $1 dollar bin at your local used record store, copies are always abundant here. What I need the first group to recollect and the second group to find is the part right near the end of the title track’s drum solo where the guitar makes a sound like some unknown prehistoric sea creature emerging from the black filth to utter its war cry. This may sound obtuse, but trust me, you’ll know it when you hear it.
Found it? If you can imagine that sea creature forming a band where that noise is the central instrument, you’ve got a better grasp than most of what Sons Of Otis sounds like. By my count, X is the fourth Sons Of Otis full-length, but their albums are kinda like AC/DC albums: If you’ve heard one, you’ve heard ’em all. This is a band where progress is not a goal, possibly not even an option. The band has secured its own tiny patch of the musical universe and it remains steadfast, uttering its war cry at any who dare to venture near, seemingly content attempting to create the sickest, most punishing heavy psychedelic rock ever created, and I’ve gotta say that, as goals go, one could do worse.