Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Otep - "Smash The Control Machine" CD

Taking the title from a quote by the immortal William S. Burroughs, Otep have piqued my interest once again. Initially enjoying their 2002 debut, "Sevas Tra" (aka "Art saves"), in which vocalist Otep Shamaya's vulnerable little girl-meets-demonically-possessed she-devil assault placed the band far ahead of many of their more traditional metal peers, I lost interest as the more recent songs I'd heard seemed lighter and more commercial. Well, it seems with "Smash...", Otep has reunited with her old bandmates (the dudes from "Sevas Tra"), and despite the title track/first single being a blatant radio-friendly concession, most of "Smash" is nicely potent, with plenty of hyper-speed down-tuned riffs and thumping rhythms that pummel and fire on all cylinders. Otep herself is in top form, too, as her banshee storm rivals any male singer out there. There are some tracks that fail to impress, like the rapping on "Run For Cover". Points off there. And that title track just bothers me, though it's heart is in the right place, being a pretty scathing indictment of consumerist culture. Overall, this is an uneven recording -- combining some fine and ultra-heavy metallic rock with some cleaner, more commercial leanings. Mixed, I say. I'd like to hear this band let loose, with no inhibitions. I'd bet it would smoke. (Victory Records)

Smash The Control Machine (official site)

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