Ocelot Omelet Offers Up Vintage Metal on EP

Ocelot Omelet, Present in the Dark EP (out now, self-released, ocelotomelet.bandcamp.com)

Recorded under the watchful eye of Seattle institution Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden, etc.), Ocelot Omelet’s self-titled three-song EP is vintage metal to the core, a release that could have as easily come from 1993 as 2013. If a key element of metal is excess, Ocelot Omelet has that down in spades. In both tone and vocal inflection, lead singer Os Calaveras sounds a bit like James Hetfield, with some of Layne Staley’s nasality. Meanwhile, the group’s guitarist—who goes by the name of Whiz—seems to be on a mission to play every single effect pedal he could fit onto his board, as most of the tracks feature significant levels of overdrive, fuzz, wah, chorus, vibe, and delay. All these songs follow the same template, opening with a sparse or disquieting melody or sound before descending into full-on mayhem. The first track, “Out of the Frying Pan and Into Another Frying Pan,” opens with a wall of fuzz that could make Mudhoney blush. It’s followed by “?”, which features some real monster double-beat kick-drum work. Things come to a close with “Present in the Dark,” a meandering 10-minute sound-shifting colossus dominated for much of its duration by a crushing solo guitar instrumental fixed in the middle. In the context of Seattle’s renewed revitalization of grunge, Ocelot Omelet doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. It excels, however, in perfectly executing those sounds in the present for listeners obsessed with the past. (Fri., Jan 10, High Dive)

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