OTTTO Life Is A Game
I’m not gonna lie, I was immediately turned on to OTTTO for two primary reasons. The first of which is that this is the band that features Tye Trujillo, who happens to be the son of the legendary Robert Trujillo who you might know from the groundbreaking Suicidal Tendencies, as well as the heavy funk supergroup Infectious Grooves. Robert’s also been playing a little band from California for nearly the past twenty years that you might be familiar with. Second, I’m an unabashed fan of Stranger Things and Tye contributed the live tracks to the Eddie Munson character during his epic performance of “Master of Puppets.” With all of this in mind, however, the primary draw to OTTTO is really the music. They give us a solid record.
OTTTO demonstrates that they have no problem taking risks with their very first record. They blend and bridge a variety of styles and they do it so incredibly well. There’s some thrash in there along with some heavy groove mixed in with some punk, some funk and pure rock and roll. Life Is A Game is melodic when it needs to be in a way that keeps the edge. The band mentions that their influences range from Torche to Alice In Chains to Red Hot Chili Peppers and it’s so apparent that this trio really gets the nuance and theory behind these acts. But they take their influences, transform them and really make their music their own.
“Ride Low” is a song that’s going to make you recall the sounds of Metallica, Helmet and even CKY. Great crunch on that guitar and the rhythm is perfect for that steady and somewhat restrained headbang.
“Skyscraper” is a track filled with thrashy goodness. I love the time changes in this song. I love the chord progressions. I love the rhythm canvas that Trujillo and drummer Triko Chavez lay down. When I listen to this song, I can’t believe that I’m listening to a composition composed by a trio of folks who were all just very recently in high school.
Lyrically the band tackles some heavy issues like the Rwandan Genocide in the song, “Dance of the Dead” (though this is not reflected in the video which has a cameo from Robert Trujillo) But at the same time they write about being young and in high school, as they do in tracks like “My Pain.” If I was thirty years younger I might be able to relate, but I’m a middle aged Dad with very different problems, so much of the lyrical content is not exactly in my wheelhouse. Those old enough to remember living through the Clinton Administration might also agree.
OTTTO are destined for stardom. There’s little doubt here. The musicianship is crystal clear and that’s the real hook when it comes to Life Is A Game. This is a tight three piece outfit from Venice and it really exceeded my own expectations.
Recorded at Henson Studios in California – yes THAT Henson Studios – expertly mixed by esteemed production guru Bill Appleberry, and mastered by Evren Goknar (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kiss) OTTTO presents a record that sounds outstanding. All of the instruments are crystal clear in the mix.
Throw out any of that “nepo baby” nonsense, this trio has massive talent that is undeniable and they present a vibrant and fresh record you will quickly love.