Music

Alternative Tentacles

Octopus Project and the Sound of the Internet

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Listening to the Octopus Project is akin to listening to the internet. Imagine if, every processing decision—or, well, whatever happens in the internet—was followed by a corresponding beep, boop, or snare strike (in perfect harmony, of course). The Octopus Project somehow tap into this sound, organically merging raw instruments over meticulous electronic arrangements. At the beginning of "Wet Gold," the first song from their latest release, Golden Beds, hands clap and coalesce with drums and keys before exploding into a synthetic anthem that carries on throughout the rest of the EP. Golden Beds is a courageous yelp from a band teetering on the edge of lo-fi electro-tunes and full-blown indie stardom.

And yet, it was inevitable for the Austin quartet to find themselves in this situation. Frontman Josh Lambert's excitement for the latest tour was palpable; since 2006's Coachella (where the band won their chance to perform from a MySpace contest) they've been playing shows and recording at a nonstop pace. As a result, they've had many hours to spend honing a new sound—one most evident on 2007's Hello, Avalanche.

"We want to try something new," Lambert says, while en route to Baltimore. "Not like a hiphop band or something, but we want to do something new. I feel like on every record we're kind of excited to try different things."

Different things are evident in each outing, and Golden Beds is no exception. Flexing their pipes, Lambert, Toto Miranda, and Yvonne Lambert harmonize on the songs "Wet Gold" and "Moon Boil" without losing any of the charm of the band's high-energy laptop rock.

"[Singing] is something we've always talked about doing, but we never really felt like the time was absolutely right," Lambert explains. "'Moon Boil' was written while we were working on Hello, Avalanche and we felt like it didn't really fit with the rest of the record, so we kind of kept it on the back burner."

The song comes rushing out of the gate with Miranda singing into an inevitable tempest of crashing symbols and frenzied guitar riffing. Their live shows not only employ the weirdest of instrumental gadgetry and laptop trickery, but each member also happens to be multi-talented and versed in the ways of guitar, bass, and keyboard—enough to trade instruments mid-song without skipping a beat.

Oh, and did I mention that they're all proficient in playing the theremin? The internet would totally sound like a theremin.

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