Review Summary: And now I know what a hexadecagon is. Thanks, Octopus Project!
A hexadecagon, for those of you who don’t know (eg. myself), is a shape with sixteen sides. The Octopus Project, for those of you who don’t know (eg. not myself), is a band that experiments with various electronics and doo-dads to create a thick, layered sound that progresses much like post-rock, with subtle add-ons driving towards a crashing climax of noise. Hexadecagon
, the band’s fourth full-length release, sets out to build on the band’s already structured sound by creating a more complex, more unique mixture of sounds and ideas. Does Hexadecagon
get too ambitious at times, or does the Octopus Project hit it out of the park"
“Fuguefat”, the albums opener and first single, is a good example of what the band does right, as the song starts with a climbing piano line in a jittery 7/8 time signature before more piano layers and electronic drum pops accompany it. Right away you can sense some momentum building as more and more layers build, then some real drums come in around the two minute mark and some fuzzy distortion helps drive the established melodies. Right of the gate, Octopus Project display their strengths, and “Fuguefat” ends up as being one of the best tracks of the album.
Along with “Fuguefat”, there are plenty of terrific, laboured songs to be found on Hexadecagon
. Although it takes a little while longer to build some steam, “A Phantasy” is another strong cut from the album, as some electronics noises churn underneath the strong hook of the song before the momentum explodes in the later half, creating an enthusiastic and vibrant feel. “Glass Jungle” is a cool little ditty that sounds like something from an 8-bit NES game, and the album’s closer, “Catalog”, is another 7/8 romp featuring a swirling synthesizer line, and the band creates a lot of interesting progression over the fundamentals of the track during the lengthy eight minute run-time. If you’re into post-rock structures and layered sounds, these tracks definitely have a lot of content to sink your teeth into.
But unfortunately, some tracks on Hexadecagon
don’t conjure up the same excitement as the tracks mentioned above. Songs like “Korakrit”, “Hallucinates” and “Toneloop” are cool sounding songs, but they don’t seem to progress at all and just mainly focus on repeating riffs over and over again. They all do an excellent job at it, mind you, but they seem a little flat unless you’re really
digging the riff to want to listen to it multiple times over. And the only really offensive track of the album happens to be the longest, as “Circling” fails to do much of anything during the exhausting eleven-minute runtime, making it a complete chore to listen to.
Overall, however, I’d have to say that Hexadecagon
was a success: although I kind of miss the band’s straightforward, more energetic songs that they’ve produced in the past, Hexadecagon
features plenty of adventurous and fun tracks that are a blast to sit and listen to. As a fan of crescendoing progression and expansive ideas, I feel that Hexadecagon
is one of the better albums of the year for the genre, and is definitely something that fans of post-rock, indie and progressive are missing out on if they don’t give it a try.