UTG EXCLUSIVE TRACK-BY-TRACK: Otenki – ‘The War Outside’

otenki

Houston rock quartet Otenki dropped the riveting full-length effort, The War Outside, yesterday. The record seeps energy out of every track and shows promise for one of the premier up-and-comers in the alternative rock world. The band mixes powerful displays of chord progression atop seamless melodies and the occasional synth hooks.

Under The Gun is excited to be teaming up with the band and bringing you an exclusive track-by-track synopsis of The War Outside. Hit “Read More” to find out the scoop on each track and be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.

“KINETIC”

“KINETIC“ just rips. It starts off with that riff and just has this huge amount of energy. It really has everything we love about rock songs: Crazy guitar riffs, larger than life drums, and sweet harmonies. What I love is how dynamic the song is. We start out being in-your-face and then chill it out for a second and then bring the energy right back up. When I was writing this song I wanted to make sure that our fans would throw down when they heard it. I wanted something that got their blood pumping and their hearts racing. Before we recorded this track — when we played it live — we would stop midway through the song and do this Queen “We Will Rock”-style chant. It would always go over really well and we wanted to make sure we brought that live feel to the track. — Fausto Padilla (Lead Guitar)

“THE REAL ME”

This song was one of the first songs we wrote for the album. Originally, it was played a lot faster and it felt a little too pop-punk. We decided to slow it down and give it a groove. It just brought this whole new vibe to the track. I think it was the vibe that helped us put the final touches on the lyrics for this song. We wanted to really talk about how people aren’t always what they seem to be. It was a means for us to talk about hard times we were going through and challenges the idea of perception being reality. We had the luxury of taking our time with the production. This song has a big payoff at the final chorus with all these harmonies and killer guitar riff. It’s just massive. I love playing this song live. Every single time we play it or I hear the song it sends chills down my spine. I love this song. — Enoma Asowata (Guitar)

“GHOSTS”

“GHOSTS” is easily the standout track on The War Outside. Even when we were in the demo stages of the track, it had this energy that had us pumped. “GHOSTS” is based around some relationships that myself and our lead guitar player Fausto found ourselves in. Lucky for us — anytime we have things going on the best way to get them out is to write about it. We were able to start experimenting with synths, vocal samples, and programming on this track. It definitely opened up a new world for us. I really like the fact we decided to have a keyboard solo instead of a guitar solo during the bridge. It’s definitely a little different. There’s so many layers sonically. It just breathes life into song and helped make it a real stand out track.  — German Alexander (Vocals)

“GLORY BE”

I had always loved this song and I wanted to bring that idea to the recording sessions. Originally, the song wasn’t going to be on the record, however; there was just something about the melody and the message behind it that was so strong. The song is about a friend of the bands who’s having a difficult time in her life between becoming the person she wanted to be and keeping her faith front of mind as she changed. During pre-production, we played all the songs that were going to be on the record and before we wrapped I asked to play “GLORY BE” and our producer heard the chorus, immediately stopped us and said that this is a song we should definitely record. We channeled our inner Acceptance and Jimmy Eat World with this song and we’re all incredibly happy with the way it came out. — Enoma Asowata (Guitar)

 “VIOLENCE”

“VIOLENCE” is definitely the most aggressive track we have. Rightfully so; it just has this huge sound to it. The guitars, drums, and vocals are in-your-face and the song has great flow to it. The song has some great electronic elements that really offer texture to the track. The drums are just insane and have so much presence. When we approached our producer with this track we said we wanted to reference bands like Anberlin and Breaking Benjamin as points of inspiration to how to structure the song. The ending of the song has a great driving force that just gets the blood pumping. It has a ton of energy and a great finish. The last chorus is this…wall of sound, and it just gets your blood pumping. I love how the song ends with German screaming “Open your eyes!” It was a last second addition and it brings this intense track full circle. Honestly, this one is my favorite song to play live. — Josh Tenorio (Bass)

“It Will Rain (Bruno Mars Cover)”

I came up with the idea to do a cover song a little bit after we had originally recorded the first five songs that make up . The challenge of doing a cover song is taking elements from the original song that made it amazing and adding your own flavor. I approached our producer with the idea of doing a Bruno Mars song and sent him a few ideas we wanted to bring to the table. My vision for the track was to make it sound massive and introduce some darker textures and sounds to it. We were able to really make the track shine. Everything came together with this track and I couldn’t be happier with it.  — Fausto Padilla (Lead Guitar)

 “LA BOTELLA”

For almost as long as we’ve been a band we wanted to work on a song in Spanish. 3/4 of our band are from Spain and El Salvador and we have always wanted to break into that market. We felt the time was right to take a chance and not only self-produce a track but to try it in a different language. The song is acoustic with some electronic elements for right now; but I would really like to see how it comes together full band. — Fausto Padilla (Lead Guitar)

“REMIXES”

The idea of the remixes came up when our friend Aaron, a local producer, said he wanted to see what he could do with “GLORY BE.” Since writing the The War Inside songs, we flirted with the idea of marrying electronics with our songs. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it out and the result was amazing. Each remix brings something different to the table and it still feels like Otenki. We definitely think our fans are going to in for a surprise when they hear them. — Enoma Asowata (Guitar)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seXlUmJLTSY

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