I’ve been living under a rock. I had never heard of OTHERWISE until they popped up in an email telling me about their upcoming tour with Adelita’s Way, who I interviewed a few years ago. Why not review it, I thought? It’ll be a good way to get back into the Let’s Rock thing after a too lengthy hiatus.
Apparently this is the sixth album by OTHERWISE and drops on March 10th, 2023 thanks to Mascot Records / Mascot Label Group. According to the bio I read, OTHERWISE has millions upon millions of streams. How have I not heard of them?
From Las Vegas, OTHERWISE features brothers Adrian and Ryan Patrick on vocals and guitar respectively. Their debut, self-titled album was released in 2006, and since then have released True Love Never Dies (2012), Peace At All Costs (2014), Sleeping Lions (2017) and Defy (2019).
For those of you who have never visited Let’s Rock before, shame on you, but also, I don’t do a normal album review. I instead write as I listen to the tunes for the first time. I sit with my trusty Rock Dog, Geddy Van Hettencourt, and bask in the beauty of music. It’s usually a good sign if Ged sticks around for the whole album. LET’S DO THIS!
I have no idea what to expect. I like that. Here we go. Knock My Socks Off, OTHERWISE!! Ummmm, don’t let the little bluesy guitar riff of this tune fool ya. My speakers almost blew when it kicked in. This is some aggressive stuff. They words are flying. Can’t quite understand them, but it has a serious heavy groove. Oh, I understood some of the lyrics…”I ain’t like the other motherfuckers, I’m a warrior.” The sound is stellar. Producer Matt Good [Asking Alexandria, Hollywood Undead] is on the ball. Tight as hell in the breakdown. Good lord this is powerful. “Say it to my fucking face”. These guys are angry about something. Where have I been for the past ten years? How have I not heard of these dudes? Seriously heavy track. Powerful vocals. In your face guitars. The drum sound is booming. What more could you ask for? AND…Geddy is still here, and I played that loud…
Bass intro, again kind of bluesy….I’m guessing that won’t last long. Yep, here it comes. HEAVINESS ENSUES! I’m really digging the guitar sound. Nice little breakdown. The chorus in both songs so far is very hooky…hookery…catchy. “I forgot what it’s like to give a shit” The anger. This is just good straight ahead hard rock with great sound. I think I might be out of luck if I’m looking for a guitar solo on this album, but that’s ok. There are lots of layers and they all fit nicely together. Short, sweet, to the point and done.
New Way To Hate
Ged jumped at the beginning of this one. I don’t even know how to describe this style of music. It’s got some industrial, some metal. It’s angry. Have I mentioned that? “The world keeps teaching me a new way to hate”. There’s even a bit of atmospheric something or other floating around in the background. This is super cool. The drummer, Joe Conner, is what we call, in the music biz at least, a beast. A GUITAR SOLO!! WOOHOO! Very cool sounding. The solo is a perfect fit for the song. Not a GAWDZILLION notes, but a tasty addition to the tune. Album is paused. Ged is still here. A couple things I’ve noticed so far: OTHERWISE likes to tease you a little before pounding you in the face and the songs are short, which is both good and bad, in my humble opinion. It’s good because they get to the point and, as Canadian hockey players say, get ‘er done. But at the same time, just as you’re getting into the song, it’s done. Remember Stone Temple Pilots’ Vasoline? Shit…that was a killer track…oh, it’s done. OTHERWISE, on the first three songs are averaging a little over three minutes/tune. I digress. As this sight says: LET’S ROCK
“Failure is not an option”. Again, a teasing little intro with heavy drums and kids voices singing. It’ll kick in…Wait for it….BOOM. I enjoy these kind of albums. You know what you’re gonna get and you’re never disappointed. This one is turbo-boosted. It’s a chugger. Shit! Lead singer Adrian Patrick has a powerful voice. Man, this is badass. I’m thinking there’s some downtuning going on here. And…it’s done. I need a nap after that one. As my dad would say, “She’s a barn-burner!”
OTHERWISE definitely has a sound. And that’s a good thing. I haven’t listened to their other albums. I’ll check them out after this one is done. Coffins is another example of that sound. Just plowin’. OOOH, kind of another guitar solo: Just octaves, but cool. I love guitar solos, but as OTHERWISE is showing, they aren’t always necessary. Say, that reminds me, have you heard the new Extreme song? Now that’s a band that needs guitar solos. I digress. Coffins is cool. Lots of little things added to the mix to make the song even tastier. There are some keyboards, or is it just a cool sounding guitar. Yeah, it’s definitely downtuned. I think the keyboards I mentioned are actually guitar. It’s a cool dichotomy: super heavy tune with this pretty sounding melody playing overtop.
Guitarist Ryan Patrick has a really cool sound. Hollywood minute is another killer. This album is gonna be great live. Dammit. They’ve announced a tour with Adelita’s Way, and there aren’t any Canadian dates. That bites. This is a really fun album. Is fun the right word to use for something like this? Geddy is still here.
Gawdzillionaire Ft. Ekoh
The title track. This should be good. I must admit, I had to Google Ekoh. Apparently, according to his website, he ‘has something that hip hop music hasn’t seen in a long time. TRUE PASSION FOR THE ART OF HIP HOP MUSIC.” I capitalized because he capitalized. I’ll be the first to admit that hip hop isn’t something I listen to. Don’t get all up in arms. I’m not slamming it, it’s just not my thing. Having said that, this should be interesting. DROP THE NEEDLE! OK, not the needle. HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON TO START THE SONG! Thats better.
Cool riff. It might be dropped down to about Drop Z. Groovy little bass and drums under the verse. Here comes Ekoh. So Ekoh covers the second verse. It’s not bad. Seriously heavy breakdown after Chorus 2. Aw, nice, a switch to kind of a jazzy verse. Interesting end to this one. “Our wallets look like graveyards,filled with dead presidents, In God we trust, and we just obey.” And that’s it. Very cool and a huge shift in sound. I like it.
Now for the line that could cause some flack from fans. The Ekoh verse didn’t do much for me. I thought the song was smashing up to that point. Wow, I sounded so British there. By smashing, I mean kickin’ ass, not lovely. The addition of the rap/hip hop verse kind of took away the power of the song. It wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t necessarily have to be added. I love when bands try new things, and, as this is the first time I’ve listened to OTHERWISE, maybe they have done this on previous albums. But to me, I would have preferred this one to keep chugging with Adrian singing. That’s just my opinion. What do you think?
Is it about the mob? What’s interesting about OTHERWISE is the heaviness of the music, but the singability of the vocal melody. It can’t be easy to do. Good lord, the drums are good. I bet he sweats a lot live. This could be a hit. WHAT?!?!?! A GUITAR SOLO!!! Ryan’s rippin’ it on this one. This is kind of a pop song with crushing guitars and bombastic drums. I really like this. OK, maybe not a pop song. “Sometimes I wish that I was dead” and “Just like a bullet through my head” are not really pop music material, but the melody definitely could be.
Paradise Ft. Heidi Shepard
Another quick Google of Heidi Shepard or Shepherd tells me she is on of the vocalists for Butcher Babies. A quick Youtube search shows me that she’s an extreme singer, kind of growly. Let’s see what she has to offer on Paradise.
Keyboard intro. Sounds ominous. Another pop-py melody. I have a feeling it’s gone get heavy….yep, there it is. “Addicted to Paradise” Woohoo! Another little guitar solo. Sweet! That one fit super well. Chill verses, heavy choruses. Haven’t heard Heidi yet. Awesome breakdown riff. It’s a cool tune. Where’s Heidi? Wait…It’s over. I did hear some growly type vocals during that cool breakdown riff. Maybe she sang harmony during the chorus. Not quite sure. Either way, it’s a cool tune.
With a title like Exorcism, you just know it’s gonna rock. Nice fast intro, chilled out verses. Heavy chorus. I’m starting to figure out the sound of this band and I like it. Wow. This is dark and pounding. It has a cool, mellow breakdown, but make sure the kids are out of the room for this one. Another short and sweet tune. 3:13. Crushin’ it, boys! Well done.
“Everyone I know is fucking miserable”. Well, that’s kind of sad. Camouflage is very different. Oh wait. Here we go. Started off with a very different groove, but picked up for the chorus. These guys have a cool use of keyboards. They’re in the background and don’t take over the song, but they add some awesome layers to the songs. “Is it the television making us hysterical?” Hmm, maybe. Hey, wait. it’s over? That one flew by.
Maybe it’s a cover of the Blind Melon song. I love that tune. Ha. It is. Awesome. If you like bands that do cover songs note for note, this ain’t for you. It has kind of an Irish music feel after the verse. This is fantastic. I’m just gonna sit back and listen to this one. Hang on. Alright. That was different, heavy and cool. Remember when Marilyn Manson covered Sweet Dreams? It’s kind of like that. I’m not comparing them, I just mean that without the words, you wouldn’t really know what song it was. The best part….they go into a nice soft ending, just like the Blind melon version. Awesome stuff. That’s how covers SHOULD be done. I think I’ll go read a book. It rips my life away but….It’s a great escape.
THAT’S A WRAP!!
THE BOTTOM LINE
Gawdzillionaire is an excellent album. OTHERWISE has a very distinct sound that just rages out of the speakers. The album is masterfully produced by Matt Good. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…The best part of the Let’s Rock gig is discovering new bands. I realize that OTHERWISE are not a new band, but they are to Let’s Rock. It’s unfortunate the tour won’t be coming to Canada, but perhaps sometime in the near future, they’ll make a run up north.
Geddy stuck around for the whole album. He didn’t seem too fazed by the loudness emanating from the speakers in the Let’s Rock dungeon of sound.
Do yourself a favour and support OTHERWISE. You’ll be glad you did.
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