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Friday, 24 July 2009

The Octopus Project - Golden Beds EP REVIEW

The Octopus Project are an electronica/post-rock band formed in 1999 in Austin, Texas. They make experimental pop music with elements taken from rock, indietronica, post-punk and post-rock. It is quite difficult to categorize their music down into any single genre. The new EP presents the listener with exactly the same non-problems.

The lead single from the 5-track EP, entitled Wet Gold, is stunning. A fast paced percussive track with disorientating electronic effects throughout; this song sounds like Black Moth Super Rainbow crossed with the muffled vocals of Metric. It is not like The Octopus Project to deal with vocals in their songs (the last time they did this was the song 'Queen' on October 2007's 'Hello, Avalanche.') but they pull the surprise inclusion off by having the dubbed down vocals as very much a part of the background of the music.

Moon Boil is again upbeat, with overdriven guitars and jarring bassline, and it is only the background noise and key changes that prevent this from being a fairly standard garage rock song. The song is short at only 2:28, but three times a clear blues rock influence is unleashed in the breakdown. Between these lie overdriven jazz chords and at times very muffled background vocals and effects.

The third track Rorol is more worthy of the title of Moon Boil than the Moon Boil itself. Sounding like a musical journey to space, with spacey loops Jean-Jacques Perrey would be proud of sitting comfortably above a low double drone of a bassline, this track is weird, ambient, psychedelic and ultimately a bit pointless. It's nice enough to have on, but leaves you wondering what just happened? Rorol is a six minute stroke of weirdness in the middle of an otherwise solid EP.

Wood Trumpet
, track 4 is grand, and begins the Golden Beds descent into chiptune. I can't help but draw an immediate comparison to 8bitpeoples such as Anamanaguchi (who's Power Supply you can ZIP here) when i listen to this. I suppose it's just bands like this who we really have to call ecletic. Track 5, wittily entitled 'Half A Nice Day' is almost Crystal Castles its so electro. If i've ever seen a candidate for linkage to the group 'Im so electronic i shit bits', it's this song. It all comes together quite nicely in the end, for a song which starts out quite minimalistic, it ends with gitches from all angles and nicely complementing riffs to finish.

The whole EP lasts 19 minutes and 5 tracks, and the Glockenspiel features heavily throughout. Now that the latest Lost series has just ended, and the band have a spare 8 months they decided to visit the studio once again this autumn and start recording for a new album, then take their new material on a US tour. Tours and albums are good news for a fan of any band, so it's good news all round for fans of The Octopus Project, especially since the new EP is fantastic. When it comes out on July 28th, i advise you to buy it, along with whatever they release as a product of their studio booking this Autumn.

You can stream the EP here, and the song Wet Gold is available as a free promo.

The Octopus Project - Wet Gold

US Tour 2009
07/19 - Austin, TX @ Austin Fashion Awards
07/24 - St. Louis, MO @ Luminary
07/25 - Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
07/26 - Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
07/28 - Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace
07/29 - Montreal, QC @ Il Motore
07/30 - Boston, MA @ TT the Bears
07/31 - Providence, RI @ Jerky's Music Hall
08/02 - New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
08/03 - Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
08/04 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
08/05 - Chapel Hill, NC @ Cat's Cradle
08/06 - Atlanta, GA @ Starbar
08/07 - New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack's
08/08 - Houston, TX @ Free Press Summer Fest
08/13 - Tucson, AZ @ Plush
08/14 - Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
08/15 - San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
08/17 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
08/18 - Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
08/21 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
08/22 - Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge

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