Texas country-punk-garage rock outfit Ottoman Turks cook up some molten, Black Sabbath-influenced riffs with their new song “35 to Life.” The track, accompanied by a gory, slasher flick-style video, will appear on the group’s second album, titled Ottoman Turks II, which arrives on March 5th, 2021.
In “35 to Life,” the band looks to the scene and aftermath of one of Dallas’ best-known tragedies: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Fittingly for the scuzzy, grimy musical backdrop, their lyrics imagine the former leader as a reanimated zombie with a penchant for fast cars and women, bent on world domination, sprinkling in several of the Dallas locations where this Kennedy might spend his post-mortem nights.
“It was the city that killed me, therefore I claim it as mine,” Ottoman Turks’ singer-guitarist Nathan Mongol Wells growls, while lead guitarist Joshua Ray Walker (who has his own career as a singer-songwriter) peels off some Tony Iommi-worthy minor-key leads.
“I have long wanted to write a song that represents our hometown. We have also wanted to do something truly heavy,” Wells explains. “It mentions several other Dallas-specific things, most notably when Sex Pistols played a famous honky tonk called the Longhorn Ballroom (which is at the very end of Riverfront). I came up with the main riff while at work and had to hold it in my head the whole day till I got home.” The uproarious video brings this story to life.
Wells describes Ottoman Turks II as “essentially the second half of a double album” to complement their debut. “OT II is rowdier, faster, more complex. We all get a chance to sing. It showcases the full range of OT style and sounds, and ends up playing a lot like our live show.”