Released: 2009, Small Stone Records
Second time around for me and Canada’s own Sons of Otis (the band’s 5th full-length). The Sons have been wheeling around the musical galaxy for around 15 years now and deserve a ton of respect for their steadfast refusal to bow to musical trends. However, their brand of acid-infused space jammin’ has, so far, never been able to pull me in.
Upon first listen to EXILED, it’s clear that not much has changed since their last album, X. The Sons’ music is still oppressively heavy and uncompromising, the songs still incredibly long (for the most part), and the music nigh on impenetrable. Still, there’s perhaps some more energy or immediacy in the songs this time around as both “Haters” and “Lost Souls” instantly grabbed me with their pummeling riffs – much more than anything on X. As to be expected, this does not last. It’s not long before the band are off into the netherworlds, taking lengthy instrumental trips into repetition. Through it all, Ken Baluke’s vocals are as gruff and sparse as ever, only showing up to add colour to the music.
I don’t know what it is, but something about this band keeps me away. I mean, there are some awesome parts to all the songs offered, especially in “Bad Man” and “Oxazejam”, but overall I find myself losing interest and my mind wandering as I listen to the album. As I said in my review of X, if this type of heavy jam stuff is your bag then by all means, check this band out – it’s just not my thing. But if it is your thing, EXILED is as good as it gets.