A Weird and Entertaining Electro Pop Release
The latest release from Austin-based indie band The Octopus Project is an electronica exploration doused in pop harmonies and trippy instrumentals. The band have been active since 1999 and have released only a handful of studio albums. Their last record Fever Forms came out in 2013 and, before that, they issued an album every two to three years. While it may seem like the band take time off between records, avid fans know that those years between releases are filled with The Octopus Project composing original music for movies. Most notably, they created the soundtracks to Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter and Kid-Thing.
On Memory Mirror, listeners hear shreds of Identification Parade, Fever Forms and Kumiko. The first three tracks captivate, catapulting listeners into the unimaginable world of The Octopus Project. “Prism Riot,” the first song off the record, is one part surf-pop, one part psychedelic and one part chaos, and it does all of this in just one minute and ten seconds. The second song, “Brounce,” starts off as a collection of strange noises before transitioning into something resembling a systematic rhythm. “Wrong Gong,” one of the most danceable songs on the album, is an extrinsic tune brought down to earth by the band’s harmonies. Lyrics like “ellipses dot, dot, dot” and “eternal talk, talk, talk” on “Remember Remembering” offer the kinds of words that one will find oneself repeating over and over again after listening. “Small Hundred” begins with an infectious beat and keeps the rhythm steady until a minute-and-a-half into the song where it bursts forth with synth and drum machines. After almost 40 minutes, the record ends on a somber note with “Leven.” The synth is still present on this track, but it takes a backseat to other instruments like guitar, drums and even a glockenspiel.
With all of its clever song titles and extraterrestrial sound, Memory Mirror is a worthy listen and just as quickly as it energizes its listeners it lulls them into a trance, only to have them go back and play the album through again.