Sons Of Otis Templeball

If time is a toxin, then it has made Sons of Otis venomous. Five years since Spacejumbofudge’s release, these Toronto heavyweights have returned in a big, big way. Inking on with Frank Kozik’s Mans Ruin late last year, hopefully this good fortune will help the rest of the world discover one of Canada’s best kept secrets. Recorded live in the studio with a drum machine pounding the rhythms and no overdubs, Templeball stands on its own and as guitarist Ken explains, it is the simplicity of it that makes it so special. "For the first time, in a long time, we were in complete artistic control. We don’t like to fill up the sound like we had to in the past. There is no need for six layers of guitar on every song." This move back to basics has benefited the band greatly. Songs such as “Mile High” and “Vitus” are both heavy and hypnotic, leaving the same sort of audible imprint on the brain that early Earth or Sleep has the ability to do. And it is a lot more happy sounding. "Yeah, this album is definitely a lot more friendly sounding," says Ken with a bit of a chuckle. "We’re not angry young men anymore." Apparently Mans Ruin was so blown away by the record when it arrived that they had no idea there was only drum programming on it until much later when Ken came out and told them. "It was never a plan [to not have a drummer]. We tried out eight or nine but none of them worked," confesses Ken. "And we’re not quitters. I taught myself how to program this drum machine to sound as authentic as possible. Hopefully, next time we’ll have that problem solved." And here’s hoping it does not take another five years. (Man’s Ruin)