By Matthew Martin
Ever wondered what it would sound like if Iggy Pop and the Stooges had been born south of the Mason-Dixon line? Well, look no further than Fort Worth, Texas's Ottoman Turks. With a sound as much garage rock as it is country, this seems like that kind of band that could win over the staunchest of Dads who don't "get" their kids' taste in music. From the apathetic Southern drawl to the snaking slide guitar and driving drum beats, this is definitely music for Saturday nights.
The Ottoman Turks first came to my attention due to some posts by their guitarist who happens to be the incomparable Joshua Ray Walker. The band had been playing on and off together for the last few years but due to a few conflicting schedules never really did anything more than play a few shows whenever they got back together. However, in the last year or so they decided to finally get this album out there. And for that, I couldn't be happier.
The album starts with the perfectly named and played, "Apathy." With the slide guitar slinking around the whole song, it's hard not to feel entranced. It's the kind of song you want to open up a beer and just let it wash over you. The album then breaks into my personal favorites- "Snake Song" and "Glass Bottles." These are perfect encapsulations of the Ottoman Turks. You can hear the party in the songs and you can hear the slight danger. But, you can also sense that note of that sadness that makes country music so endearing and relatable.
Then there's the almost pure garage rock "OCP." A song about fighting. A song definitely more at home on Funhouse than Ol Waylon but feels so uniquely Ottoman Turks. This song even has a pretty sweet drum solo. What's not to love?! Seriously, the last half of this album is one long party. It's worth the price of admission.
The whole album more or less bleeds into each other almost feeling like one long live set. It's a production technique that I am quite fond of. For a band with one album, I feel they have pretty distinct sound. If I were to turn on the radio and hear more garage rock country, I'd immediately assume it was Ottoman Turks. I can only guess what these songs would sound like live. I imagine the smell of sweat, booze, and cigarettes. I imagine dancing and all around rowdiness. But, most of all, I imagine an awesome time. I hope these dudes make it up to D.C. sometime. And, if you live in the Fort Worth area, you oughta go see em. Until then, go get the album and crank that shit up loud.