The Octopus Project
Fever Forms (Peek-A-Boo)
Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., July 19, 2013
The Octopus ProjectFever Forms (Peek-A-Boo Records)
Crowned technoids, electro wizards, rock sprockets, etc., the Octopus Project still sounds the way a kaleidoscope looks. For 14 years, the local quartet has trafficked in a wild array of intensely curated and highly energetic sonic and visual explorations, but the longtime Peek-A-Boo players' abilities to transfer that kinetic energy from the stage to the studio remained somewhat unstable. No more. As evidenced by an all-out album-release assault on a sold-out Mohawk July 6, fifth disc Fever Forms stands as the first to truly capture the TOP experience. Blasting straight off on opener "The Falls," with its dual guitars battling for descending riff supremacy, the 12-track LP quickly ushers in a torrent of swirling, reverberating vocal melodies and powerfully chanted lyrics. "Pyramid Kosmos" maintains predisposed madness, incorporating a rapid synthesizer figure that registers every eighth beat until drums shoot it into space. A quick touchback to Earth, lead single "Whitby," Fever Forms' closest comparison to 2010's Hexadecagon, and the group's gone intergalactic again, crossing back only for "Unspool," a 46-second interlude on a wind-up music box, plus the glitchy "Choi Sighs," and "Perhap," a theremin-charged instrumental over a drum track culled from the bottom of John Bonham's stairwell. Summation includes high-speed bursts that strive to split the speed of light ("Death Graduates," "The Mythical E.L.C.," and "Mmkit") and optimistic triumphs including second single "Sharpteeth" and "The Man with the Golden Hand," a singsong-y dose of power-pop over thick, shiny guitars. This is the Octopus Project you've witnessed a million times, the one you've been waiting to show up on your speakers.