The Octopus Project
Reviewed by Darcie Stevens, Fri., Nov. 19, 2004
The Octopus ProjectOne Ten Hundred Thousand Million (Peek-a-Boo)
There's a girl on stage with perfectly flipped hair. She rocks back and forth, hands affixed to her rack of keys. Her husband rocks, too, more chaotically. The drummer on his throne bangs the kit, looking up and smiling at the bassist, who's swaying rapidly. The girl's blood-red lips are turned up in the corners, and for a second she giggles. This is Austin's Octopus Project, and if you haven't seen them live, you have no idea that what transpires on their sophomore record for local print Peek-a-Boo, One Ten Hundred Thousand Million, is actually subdued. That said, its snappy beats and head-bopping blasts are more electric than their debut, Identification Parade. From climactic forays in a Flaming Lips vein ("Exit Counselor," "Music Is Happiness," "Lots More Stairs") to more electronic and melancholic turns ("The Adjustor," "Bruise"), One Ten Hundred Thousand Million bridges the gap between post-rock and electronica. Album hotspots "Tuxedo Hat" and "Hold the Ladder" are what set them apart from contemporary laptop rockers: drum and bass coincide with real horns, real strings, samples, and recorded hollers to create an ideal meshing of the physical and fantastic. More a community effort on album than onstage, Octopus Project uses both instances as excuses to party. Rave on.