If there was a proverbial breaking point for any specific genre, then surely “garage” rock hit it’s summit a while back. Apart from some of the finer proponents who are veering away from the roots, yet maintaining its integrity, the new breed of artists struggle to find anything new to bring to the humungous table of contents.
Octagrape. Natives of San Diego. Members of the exceptional Truman’s Water, Soul-Junk, Olivelawn, Make-up Sex and Fluf, have just released their EP entitled Emotional Oil, released digitally on Thing Thing Thing records and as a one-sided LP on Sounds Familyre.
Maintaining the heavy DIY traditions of Soul-Junk/Trumans Water with artwork that blinds you with its contortions and bellies a childish streak mixed with random genius, the cover work always managed to perfectly distill the contents into an immediate impression. Much like some classic record covers that shout the records contents at you before you’ve even pressed play, acres of kudos has to be given to the mastermind behind all these cut-copy image-bombs. Glen Galloway.
“Eternal Hair” opens up like a fierce harken back to early Sub Pop/Matador bands of the ’90s. Chaotic guitars wafting in and out of each other while the lo:fi drums cascading in and out of the mix propelling the song along. Some of the guitar tones wouldn’t be far away from Thurston Moore’s arsenal of weapons, an irony in the fact that he himself is a self-professed Soul-Junk fan.
The bizarrely named “Teenage Baboons” brings a few moments of calm to the affair, closing in on some of the more melodic moments of Soul Junk’s extensive back-catalogue. This is the soundtrack for an afternoon at a festival between bands, sitting on the grass bare-foot, sipping cold cider and watching the sun slowly pass.
The highlight on the EP, “Soviets” opens with a menacing riff, taken directly out of a mash-up of Pussy Galore/Howling Hex/Red Krayola sensibilities, yet altogether more coherent. “9 Eyed Lion” manages to mix elements of the most sickly sweet sing-a-long tune, yet distorts and twists it enough to manage to capture some early Flaming Lips magic into the fray. You could almost close your eyes and see Wayne Coyne lifting his arms dramatically with glitter, animal costumes, flashing lights, over-sized props and balloons floating down onto his silver suit while screaming out the chorus to a multitude of rabid fans.
It’s only a taster, but if this is what Octagrape are capable of producing, then hurry along to the full length already.
“Thankfully, this throat-blast of bent wind sludge is pretty hard to ignore…Octagrape has brought their A-game to the party, and this album will put as blissfully stupid a grin on yr face as any bongload, no matter how righteous.” – Byron Coley, Bull Tongue
“This San Diego combo exercise some blowtorch psychedelic punk in the spirit of Mainliner, Swell Maps, Major Stars and other faves of this program.” – Brian Turner, WFMU
“… it’s light-years more thrilling to actually hear those dots connected, especially by a band who happens to also share a taste for the interstellar. In covering all four bands for this EP, Octagrape puts their stamp on this mind-sharing music and shows how that music has put a stamp on them. Which is to say that sometimes Major Mayor Maxion Marble sounds like all five bands at once – especially in the most epiphany-hugging moments of the opener, a string-slobbering take on Major Stars’ ‘Syntoptikon’ that sounds like the history of right-on rock condensed into a dying sun.”
– Marc Masters, The Out Door, on Major Mayor Maxion Marble
“What you need to know now is that they have excellent taste, and have been paying attention for a long time, longer than most bands have been active. The noise stays on, takes up room and presses down like a flipflop wedged against your throat.” – Doug Mosurock, Still Single
“Octagrape have been continuing to put in some really excellent performances over the past few months here in town and it is genuinely hard to resist trotting out to catch them every month or so at the various far flung venues they frequent. Right now I think they are likely the best live band gigging regularly in the San Diego area…” – Little More Than A Big Crashing Beat
“My son & I are both big fans, he’s three and requests your record by name!” – John Darnielle, The Mountain Goats
“The highlight on the [Emotional Oil] EP, “Soviets” opens with a menacing riff, taken directly out of a mash-up of Pussy Galore/Howling Hex/Red Krayola sensibilities, yet altogether more coherent.” – Baba Upanishama, Bad Sounds Magazine
Octagrape blows up garage with Emotional Oil
Featuring members of Soul-Junk, Trumans Water, fluf, and Olivelawn, Octagrape a breath of fresh air in dusty garage. San Diego Reader 2/20/2013
Sebadoh pleases the crowd, while Octagrape threatens to upstage the vets. Independent Clauses 2.19.2014
They are a band from San Diego California, and I’m so happy that I caught their set. I had never seen them before, and I feel as though they turned me into an instant fan. Their high-energy brand of steady noise-rock was punctuated with their amazing guitar work. The Vinyl District 11/3/2013
Octagrape. Natives of San Diego. Members of the exceptional Truman’s Water, Soul-Junk, Olivelawn, Make-up Sex and Fluf, have just released their EP entitled Emotional Oil, released on Thing Thing Thing records. Bad Sounds Magazine 4/10/13