CD Review: Otenki - "The War Outside"

If you’re in mourning due to the imminent breakup of Anberlin, or are still grieving the disbanding of Armor For Sleep (seriously, those dudes broke up in 2009), fret not, because Otenki could be the band to finally fill that empty space in your life, and The War Outside could be just what it takes. While The War Outside is a deluxe reissue of the previously released Kinetic EP, the album feels thoroughly fresh and revitalized, thanks to driving, energetic riffs rife with electronic underpinnings, which, along with some high-arching, dynamic vocals, make for some utterly towering hooks (“Ghosts,” “The Real Me”). “Kinetic” is an instant hit and one of the better songs you’ve never heard (so that means seek this song out immediately), and for those interested, the band doles out some proper balladeering when the mood strikes (“It Will Rain,” “Glory Be”). There’s also a trio of remixes courtesy of Houston-based producer Aaron Musslewhite (“Glory Be,” “Ghosts,” “Kinetic”), and a Spanish language ballad (“La Botella”) tossed in for good measure. Think Anberlin, think Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, think Finch, think Otenki, because after hearing The War Outside, there’s a good chance that’s all you’ll be thinking about.

Grade: B+
Go Download: “Kinetic”