Iconic rockers OTEP recently announced details regarding their most uncompromising, candid, all- inclusive and controversial assessment of the current residing political regime that they
have ever released. OTEP will release their eighth full-length album, aptly titled Kult 45, on July 27, 2018 via Napalm Records.
Drawing influences from politically-charged recording artists of the past but allowing her artwork to remain fully and undeniably OTEP, Otep Shamaya continues her nearly two-decade invasion of the senses with Kult 45.
OTEP dropped their first single from Kult 45 – a hyper-political outcry to the Resistance to challenge Trump’s falsehoods and hypocrisies – entitled “To the Gallows”.
Shamaya says, “Art is resistance. Art allows us to fightback without violence. This song, “To the Gallows”, is meant to shine a light on Traitor Trump’s attacks on the Constitution, on Healthcare, on the LGBTQ+, the African American, Hispanic and Muslim communities, DREAMERS, and women’s reproductive rights. Not to mention that this spurious President might have committed just a little bit of light treason, but this is why we rally, this is why we march, and this is why I write. Because when I look back someday I want to know that I did everything in my power as an artist, activist and citizen, to stop him and his bigoted embryonic autocracy.”
Throughout the span of her career, Otep Shamaya has been an undeniable force in bringing awareness via various acclaimed mediums to the social and political injustices felt by various communities and subcultures. For years, publications such as Revolver Magazine have lauded Shamaya for “following in the footsteps of outspoken musicians from folk singer Woody Guthrie to Rage Against The Machine's Zach de la Rocha”, dubbing her “one of music's catalysts for social change”. So, with the political climate as it is today, now it’s the perfect time to impact with Kult 45.
Shamaya has gone on record to say that Kult 45 is the most authentic album OTEP have ever released, at least since their first record, and self-producing it helped achieve this result. Kult 45 was recorded at The Lair in Los Angeles, completely utilizing the same equipment used for OTEP’s first album, Sevas Tra (down to Shamaya’s vocal microphone, a SHURE Beta 58), in order to create a sound reminiscent of their roots. Kult 45was self-produced by Otep Shamaya and Aristotle, with assistant engineering from Larry Goetz, Nicolas Schilke and Lizzy Ostro.
OTEP does not hold back on Kult 45, pointing out all sorts of political duplicities and leaving them in their wake. The band explodes on aggressive, adamant anthems like “Halt Right” and “Molotov”, which act as timely outcries against the recent resurgence of hate groups. Tracks like the in-your-face “Cross Contamination”explore the hypocrisy of the evangelical right giving Trump a pass on his infidelities, and cherry-picking scriptures to fit their ideologies. “Invisible People” approaches immigration issues while pointing a strong finger at Trump, the electronically-charged “Boss” aims to break, fight, and redefine gender roles, “Shelter In Place”investigates the topic of school shootings, and “Trigger Warning” targets rape culture – specifically Stanford rapist Brock Turner –with a vengeance.
One of the last tracks on the album is a true-to-form cover of “Wake Up” – an homage to political music icons, major Kult 45 writing inspirations, and original track recording artists Rage Against The Machine. The album closes with the bonus track “The Tribe Speaks”, featuring recorded voicemails from fans expressing howOTEP’s music has changed their lives. Shamaya says the voicemails are truly moving and keep her fighting as an artist and activist.