The Octopus Project

Record Review

Phases and Stages

The Octopus Project

Identification Parade (Peek-a-Boo) Fusing four-track rock to electronic music with a piecemeal arsenal of garage-sale instruments, Austin's Octopus Project opens its second album Identification Parade with two tracks founded on minimal tape loops that could've been recovered from Raymond Scott's Manhattan Research sound laboratory. The primitive blips that kick off "What They Found" and "Rorol" are then supplanted by the trio's evocative instrumental accompaniments, which provide the juice. In the prog-rock era, those parceled gaps might've been used as a showcase for virtuosity; here, the band favors a more cinematic intuition, letting each successive instrument heighten the tension further. Less interesting are the pedestrian beats that overwhelm the over-extended disco track, "The Way Things Do" and the stutter-stepping hip-hop goof, "Marshall Examines His Carcass." Given the promise of the LP's initial tracks, it seems like the band could've done more here. Still, Identification Parade mends its ways with the esoteric percussion and synth-bells of "Its Caption Was a Star" and the lost radio signal nuances and build-

ing momentum of "Crying at the Aquarium." Even if all nine tracks don't quite click, the Octopus Project's thrift-store version of experimental electronic rock gets extra credit for knocking it all out with a vibrant sense of ambition.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Entanglement (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, Dec. 13, 2019

Levitation Album Reviews
Dallas Acid
The Spiral Arm (Record Review)

Kevin Curtin, Nov. 8, 2019

More by Greg Beets
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Best Live Music Performances of 2018
Best Live Music Performances of 2018
The bands and venues that kept our critics on their feet

Dec. 28, 2018


The Octopus Project

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle