If there was a proverbial breaking point for any specific genre, then surely “garage” rock hit it’s summit a while back. Apart from some of the finer proponents who are veering away from the roots, yet maintaining its integrity, the new breed of artists struggle to find anything new to bring to the humungous table of contents.
Octa#grape. Natives of San Diego. Members of the exceptional Truman’s Water, Soul-Junk, Olivelawn, Make-up Sex and Fluf, have just released their E.P. entitled Emotional Oil, released on Thing Thing Thing records.
Maintaining the heavy DIY traditions of Soul-Junk/Trumans Water with artwork that blinds you with its contortions and bellies a childish streak mixed with random genius, the cover work always managed to perfectly distill the contents into an immediate impression. Much like some classic record covers that shout the records contents at you before you’ve even pressed play, acres of kudos has to be given to the mastermind behind all these cut-copy image-bombs. Glen Galloway.
“Eternal Hair” opens up like a fierce harken back to early Sub Pop/Matador bands of the 90s. Chaotic guitars wafting in and out of each other while the lo:fi drums cascading in and out of the mix propelling the song along. Some of the guitar tones wouldn’t be far away from Thurston Moore’s arsenal of weapons, an irony in the fact that he himself is a self-professed Soul-Junk fan.
The bizarrely named “Teenage Baboons” brings a few moments of calm to the affair, closing in on some of the more melodic moments of Soul Junks extensive back-catalogue. This is the soundtrack for an afternoon at a festival between bands, sitting on the grass bare-foot, sipping cold cider and watching the sun slowly pass.
The highlight on the EP, “Soviets” opens with a menacing riff, taken directly out of a mash-up of Pussy Galore/Howling Hex/Red Krayola sensibilities, yet altogether more coherent. “9 Eyed Lion” manages to mix elements of the most sickly sweet sing-a-long tune, yet distorts and twists it enough to manage to capture some early Flaming Lips magic into the fray. You could almost close your eyes and see Wayne Coyne lifting his arms dramatically with glitter, animal costumes, flashing lights, over-sized props and balloons floating down onto his silver suit while screaming out the chorus to a multitude of rabid fans.
It’s only a taster, but if this is what Octa#grape are capable of producing, then hurry along to the full length already.
Take a listen here: http://octagrape.bandcamp.com/