In recent years, it has become increasingly harder to find a band that is unique, and truly stands out from the jumbled, watered down “scene.” Sure, there are bands that have stuck out. But for every Thursday or Thrice, there’s a myriad of bands that just don’t get it. However, with bands such as Thursday and Thrice, there is, arguably, one problem: there isn’t much pop sensibility present. So what happens when you take equal parts Saosin, VersaEmerge (minus the orchestrations), and the flair for catchy hooks that Glassjaw frontman Daryl Palumbo displayed with Head Automatica, and mix them all together? Look no further than Houston, Texas, for your answer: Otenki.
With 5 tracks that meld the post-hardcore of Saosin’s self-titled effort with just the right amount of sugar-coated pop, Kinetic is a natural progression from the bands previous effort, Making Sense of Static. Opener “Kinetic” sets the pace for the album, with the double bass kicks from drummer The Terror and vocalist German Alexander belting out heartfelt lyrics of “We do this all for you / every word that we ever said we / every word that we ever said we meant.” The bridge in the middle of the song sees everything dropping out except for the kick drum, which sounds terribly hollow compared to its sound throughout the rest of the song. First single “Ghosts” has a There For Tomorrow vibe, and guitarists Enoma Asowata and Fausto Padilla drive the song along. Closer “Violence” sounds like a b-side to Saosin’s self-titled album, which in this case is a great thing.
Otenki set out to push themselves as artists with Kinetic, and they have succeeded. Alexander is no Cove Reber (or Anthony Green, for that matter), but his harmonies mesh perfectly with the instrumentation found on the EP, which is nothing less than stellar. If this is the direction that Otenki continue to take with their music, it won’t be long before they become scene staples.
2. The Real Me
4. Glory Be