Allstar Otis - Angst Into Energy (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Allstar Otis

Angst Into Energy (2005)


Well, at least it only lasted twelve minutes.

Allstar Otis' EP really did have some potential. Not to be great, but to be a really enjoyable effort, but it just couldn't come to fruition. The issue I have is with the vocals, and there's a couple problems there. First, and most noticeably, they're just too damn loud. Loud to the point where you can barely hear the guitar, bass, and drums wailing away underneath it all. They're just too overpowering to be able to take all of the music in it once; you have to listen to either the vocals, or the music, because trying both will get you nowhere. What really makes the overbearing vocals an issue is that they're off-key. Real, real off-key. I'm talking worse than Geoff Rickley, and this singer doesn't have the ability to make that somehow work as the Thursday front-man does. It's a real unfortunate situation, too, because the music is actually pretty damn solid, though you'd never even know it.

These six songs don't exactly run the musical gamut, but their pop-rock stylings are tight and fluid. Take a band like Cartel, speed up their instrumentation a bit, and add some terrific guitar work, and that's where this band is left. The rhythms are really a standout for this release, always at the perfect pace and the perfect level of volume. If the singer was toned down a bit, you could really hear the frantic drumming, the bass interludes, and the lightning guitar solos, but as it stands, you really have to dig to be able to find the moments like that. But they're there, no doubt about it. The band is as technically sound and proficient as you could hope for an act like this, and maybe the next time around, some of the problems I touched on will be fixed.

At this point in time, I'd like this band better as an instrumental one. The vocals are just too damn overbearing and too damn off-key to really give the rest of the band a fair shake. There's hope, though, but we'll have to wait for the second go-round to see how that pans out.