Ottawa - Ottawa [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Ottawa [12-inch] (2010)


Ottawa was a (very) short-lived Michigan hardcore act from the '90s. You might know their prior band, Current, a little better. Everyone from Current–a cool Dischord-style emo act–was in Ottawa, but Ottawa are a far different beast: This is super fast, crusty hardcore that's both ferocious and to-the-point. This self-titled LP is actually a reissue of their side of a 1994 split with Jihad (leaving out closing track "The Greatest Adventure", which is just a random archival recording, anyway).

Some typical nodes of powerviolence-y thrash seep into the record here and there, from "Pacification" to "The Onslaught of the Uruk-hai" (these dudes love The Lord of the Rings), somewhat foreshadowing acts like Charles Bronson or Surf Nazis Must Die. There's a brutal, almost metallic hardcore fierceness to other cuts like "Life Consumed" and "Their Ploy". Although, "Victim of Dedication" has more of a desperate, almost melodic bend to it.

When they aren't busy referencing J.R.R. Tolkien, the band's subject matter is socially conscious to the point of being predictably vicious: "Your conditioning–no excuse. Your bigotry–is foolishness. Your brutality–is unjustified. Homophobe–fuck off and die. Death to your fucking biblical morals. It is asinine to enforce gender roles." Just so you know where they stand.

While I probably prefer Current's more melodic, pained sound, this is worthwhile stuff as well.