Makin’ It: OTiS

Brooklyn's OTiSUp next for TRT’s bold predictions for “makin’ it” in 2010 is Brooklyn’s own OTiS. I first caught wind of OTiS a few weeks back thanks to one of our most reliable tipsters, Jake, who sent me the band’s cover of Pharcyde‘s “Passing Me By.”

Did I fail to mention, OTiS is not a rap group, by any means, but lead singer Craig Schoenbaum sure had me fooled, which points to the band’s versatility. OTiS defines themselves with three words: Rock, Soul, and Groove.

We can confirm after snagging OTiS‘ self-titled album in advance that those 3 words are certainly apparent from the album opener “All Over Again” to its closer in “Under the Gun.” But, for me the album’s stand out song has to be “American Dream,” the politically driven song that examines today’s world. Soap box not included.

The funky bass-line paired with the soulful piano solo and band background chants will have you grooving in no time as Schoenbaum hooks you with the chorus of “We shoot first/We ask later/That’s just the way we do/When you’re shootin’ first and ask later/American Dreams comin’ down on you.” It’s a rarity for energy of a band to translate so strongly on a recording, yet OTiS manages to pull it off with ease.

Listen to more songs from the band’s upcoming album at their MySpace page, including the cover of Pharcyde’s “Passing Me By.” OTiS is currently unsigned, which really makes this a bold prediction, but maybe TRT will start a label and steal them.

  • Origin: Brooklyn, NY
  • Age: Current line up 2009, but lead singer has been at it for quite a few years
  • Super Powers: Rock, Funk, Soul and the occasional dabble into rap (what’s up, Pharcyde!)
  • Reasons for Makin’ It: Jam band feel that is sure to have the ladies grooving and the guys two-stepping along to lead singer Craig Schoenbaum’s sweet vocals who has been likened to Mr. Otis Redding.

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