The new Octagrape album is like a long run on a breezy day, twisting and turning around corners, through alleyways, main roads, and side streets. Despite shortness of breath and sore muscles, you feel cleansed and uplifted.
At 19 songs, the collection is essentially a double-album. The kaleidoscopic sounds — partially recorded on tape — are not the standard fun fare Octagrape usually delivers. Instead, there is urgency to the album, as if time is running out.
“Strange Light” leads it off with a march of feedback and bass, crescendoing in catchy distortion and vocals. “Hightropics,” a song defined by the melee it creates at live shows, is under control, its melody defining the chaos. “Seizures” will make you party like it’s 1981. “Sky Juice” is a mature pop song.
The album closer, “Carbonate the Seven Seas,” is a stripped-down song of strummed bass notes, ’80s hair-guitar balladry, and morose pondering.
Singer/guitarist Glen Galloway (Trumans Water/Soul Junk) rocks manic on an album that sounds like a dim garage on a sunny day. Rumor has it, there’ll be a documentary to follow.
- Record: Aura Obelisk
- Artist: Octagrape
- Label: Sounds Familyre
- Songs: There are a lot of songs on this album — 19!
- Release date: January 22