Photo by Courtney Chavanel
Somewhere in the far-out, Seussian world where art, music, rock ‘n’ roll and electronica meet, you’ll find The Octopus Project. It doesn’t matter how many seasons the band puts between themselves and their formation back in 2002, the band has never lost that wide-eyed weirdness and sense of artistic adventure that made them such a compelling act in the first place. Today, three years after the release of the ambitious, multi-media exploration Hexadecagon, The Octopus Project are back with a new record called Fever Forms.
The Octopus Project’ve graced festival stages all over the country, and abroad. Their name’s appeared in ink and in ones and zeros in papers, magazines, and blogs big and small. They’re also one of those rare band’s that’ve managed to slip the velvety Violet Crown, but we here in Austin are still fortunate enough to call them one of our own. They first appeared on wax with 2002’s minimalist Identification Parade. In 2004, they came back with their harder-edged sophomore disc One Ten Thousand Million. The band caught a lucky break in 2006 when they were invited to play a slot at Coachella, after winning a fan-submission contest. That same year, they teamed up with the like-minded Black Moth Super Rainbow for an LP called The House of Apples and Eyeballs. With 2007 came the Hello, Avalanche, a record that found the band still sonic explorers, but with a more hooky, pop-friendly approach. The band pushed the boundaries of what an album could be in 2010 with Hexadecagon. Using custom-built surround-sound stereo equipment and synchronized video installations, The Octopus Project created a record that you don’t just listen to, you experience.
Three years later, The Octopus Project are back with Fever Forms. The record is a joyful, experimental electro-pop album in the mold of Hello, Avalanche, and few of the songs represent the sound and feel of the record better than the closer, and second single “Sharpteeth.” The beat is insistent, with electronic and acoustic drums keeping time. Over the top the band paints with broad sonic strokes. Instruments and sounds rise and crash like waves up on rocks, and the vocals evoke innocence and wonder. They’ve made it past 10-year mark as a band, their new album finds them still in fine form.