Upon arriving on The Ottomans’ Bandcamp page, it’s immediately revealed that they are influenced heavily by the Ramones. And they aren’t lying. With repeated progressions of three or so chords and drowned out vocals in songs that last less than two minutes, they follow the Ramones’ formula to a T. However, The Ottomans are not boring clones of punk’s past—they have a distinct life they insert into each of their songs.
There are more layers to the album than the band gives it credit for. On top of the garage sound of the guitars, there are vocal melodies that add just enough of a pop influence to make songs like “Pretty Girl Like You” and “A Little More Donald Duck” uniquely catchy. “Nothing Strange” could soundtrack a drive to a California beach as you daydream about that babe you’ve had your eye on. “Dead Girl at a Punk Rock Show” (relatable title, no?) follows that same vibe, but instead of heading to surf the waves, you’re on your way to a punk show in an unkempt garage of some locals. (And that’s where The Ottomans would rather be, considering the next track is aptly titled “I Don’t Wanna Go to the Beach.”)
The Ottomans end their s/t album with a beautiful and raw acoustic number, “Constantinople.” The sentimental sound and lyrics (“I hate goodbyes,” is crooned midway through) makes the song an anomaly on the otherwise more aggressive sounding album. The duration of the track, clocking in at three minutes, also sets it apart with its length. Not to mention that hidden in the next two minutes is a cover of “Garbage” taken from the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World soundtrack (a pleasant and grungy surprise!)
Below the last track on their Bandcamp page, The Ottomans present the album and then apologetically write “We’re sorry.” If they’re assuming that making a killer garage album with just the right amount of catchy melodies is worthy of regret, they are sadly mistaken. Apology rejected.