House of Blues
The Octopus Project
March 31, 2005
REVIEW BY MARTY GARNER
All of a sudden, everything was okay.
The Sword had just punched me in the ear, and I was a bit dazed. The people on stage were dressed in all black and white. There were a bunch of instruments I could not recognize. For a few minutes, I thought that the Sword may have actually killed me, and that Heaven(or Hell, if you wanna be a jerk) was a bunch of people with slanty haircuts and a theremin. They had on masks that looked like electrical sockets, and a liquid, bubbly sound came from the speakers. My friend Josh thought that a video game character was giving birth. Then the drummer hit his cymbals. They exploded in a flurry of silver glitter(ed--not a metaphor). There were jangly, Polyphonic Spree-esque guitars mixed with LOUD drumming. And everything was okay.
The Octopus Project played in the middle slot of the "Let's showcase how much great Austin's music scene is" tour on Thursday night at the House of Blues. They made genuinely happy and beautiful quasi-electronic music. But rather than play only with drum machines and delay pedals, the group employed a vicious live drummer, a theremin, guitars, live bass, a tambourine, and a host of electronic wizardry that was hiding in a huge black case.
The songs were gorgeously melodic. Any one of them could have come from the soundtrack to "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." They had the same delicate sense of beauty. The music was driving but not urgent. It was danceable, but not drum and bass-driven. It was like if Broken Social Scene was Ratatat.
Something between the pure joy of the music and the huge grins on the band's face made the show magical. Nothing in the world could have been wrong for the forty-five minutes they played. No one's mind would have been allowed to think it. The Octopus Project was making their own movie in their own world, and we were just lucky to have a walk-on role.
If this was in fact Heaven, then being dead was not the worst thing that could happen.