Ward Rubrecht reviews the Cecil Otter CD release show

Cecil Otter CD Release Triple Rock Social Club, August 29 By Ward Rubrecht

Given the slow-rolling rhythms and southern-Gothic jacket art of Cecil Otter's Rebel Yellow, it seemed appropriate to celebrate its release on one of these hot late-summer nights that feels a little more Atlanta front stoop than Minneapolis rap show. The party started off with the two-man Attracted To Gods warming up the sparse early-comers, their rock shifting from bluesy to punk and back again. Excitement built up as The Millionth Word took the stage, their energetic, crowd-pleasing hooks bringing folks to the front; by the time it was time for the main attraction, Ant of Atmosphere stood in the now-packed floor and the Doomtree crew had filtered into the Triple Rock to support their compatriot.

Otter himself hung out with his fans to watch the openers, wearing his signature fedora and a hand-drawn t-shirt that said "Get Out Phascists!" on the front and "Otter 1331" on the back. When he took over the mic, it was with a good deal of self-deprecation and a bit of shyness. Otter's laid-back rap style (at one point he broke rhythm to say hi to his mom) played well on the small stage of the Triple Rock. The pit didn't let him forget who was the star of the night; most of the first row was singing along to lyrics from an album released three days previous. After several tracks off Rebel Yellow (including the excellent, whiskey-tinged title track), Otter called Dessa to the stage for "Everything Floats" and an ironically showy "trick" of trading mics with her. Later, Sims and Mike Mictlan joined Otter for "Game Over," off the recently released Doomtree self-titled album.

After the last song, a projector and laptop was brought out for a viewing of a newly shot video for "1999." It looks great, with scenes projected onto the faces of Otter and other Doomtree members as they rap, and an aesthetic soaked with the same alcohol and heat as the album. Look for it to inevitably pop up on YouTube in the coming days.

--Ward Rubrecht

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