The Octopus Project

Hexadecagon (Peek-a-Boo)

Texas Platters

The Octopus Project

Hexadecagon (Peek-A-Boo)

TOP's fourth full-length finally feels like a real project, complete with extra credit. The local quartet shakes off the neon brain freeze of 2007's Hello, Avalanche and stacks more ambitious experimentation into clear focus: 1970s prog whiffs ("A Phantasy"), fusionesque jazz ("Korakrit"). Turns out the beloved electro rockers just needed a strong outline. In this case, Hexadecagon was designed as an eight-channel, eight-screen multimedia sonic event, which only furthers the group's custom-made surround sound geekery. It suits TOP, and Hexadecagon, more than past work, finds them diving headlong into unexplored realms (the 11-minute "Circling"), and sounding more thoughtful, less cartoonish. They worked in stages and attention to detail here is heightened right down to the geometric images on the packaging. Hexadecagon is a concept album that's actually fun to indulge. (The Octopus Project plays Hexadecagon Friday, Dec. 3, at East Side Drive-In.)

***

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