House Boat - The Delaware Octopus (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

House Boat

The Delaware Octopus (2009)

It's Alive

The Delaware Octopus, the 2009 debut from East Coast pop-punk supergroup House Boat--featuring members of the Ergs!, Dear Landlord and, most obviously, the Steinways--isn't anything you haven't heard before. The album doesn't try anything new or take any risks, and it is all the better for it.

This is good old-fashioned pop-punk, pure and simple. Any fans saddened by the recent breakups of the Steinways and the Ergs! can take some solace knowing that members of those groups are still doing what they do best. Grath of the Steinways takes lead vocal duties for 90 percent of the record, making The Delaware Octopus sound more or less like a new Steinways LP.

While Ergs! fans may be disappointed that Mikey Erg doesn't get much vocal time here, his drumming brings up the energy level tenfold, making this more immediate than either of the Steinways full-lengths, and his vocals do take center-stage in the ridiculously titled "Battlestar Galactica vs. The Pop Punk Message Board Part VI: Grivet Loves Goats"--for a few seconds at least.

Highlights include the Dear Landlord-esque "A Song for Halfpint to Suck on My Balls To," and the mid-paced "Alonelylonelylone," which is reminiscent of Ergs! classics like "Everything Falls Apart and More" and "See Him Again." The track also contains a possible Copyrights reference in the lyrics: "Shit's fucked, but what can you do?"

The lyrical content should be familiar to any fans of the members' past works--read: most of the songs are about girls. If you're looking for pointed social commentary, look elsewhere.

With its 20-minute runtime, The Delaware Octopus doesn't overstay its welcome and manages to leave you wanting more. It doesn't quite reach the heights of its members' past works such as Dorkrockcorkrod and Missed the Boat, and it isn't anything that you can't find other bands doing equally well, if not better, but it is an incredibly solid piece of pop-punk that should please fans of the members' previous groups.