Octaves - Greener Pastures (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Greener Pastures (2010)


Octaves are not necessarily "screamo" in either real sense of the word, nor are they a straight rehash of modern metalcore, or elder metallic hardcore. But it's fairly fresh to hear how the Baltimore band combine aspects of all these movements into their Greener Pastures EP.

Opener "Fixthe Fernback" begins by borrowing from the Dillinger Escape Plan's technical onslaught, but the overall package doesn't feel nearly as brutal. When the distressed but somewhat comprehensible, barked vocals are met with feedback squalls in the song's late stages, there's definitely tinges of the Chariot's chaotic, reckless approach coming to mind. That influence definitely permeates "I Am He Who Is Called I Am" and its feedback-wrecked, caustic stop-starts, but the band does it well enough to not mind the trick borrowing.

Shakers, dizzy guitar effects and spiraling riffs in tongue twister titled "Be Angry at the Sun for Setting on a Set of Sons" bring Fear Before to mind, somewhere between Art Damage and The Always Open Mouth. There's an air of restraint and atmosphere that enters this song, and it bodes well for the band's fuck-all abandonment of proper structure.

The EP continues its impressive bits of heavy experimentalism in the late goings with the carefully spastic guitar work, abruptly fast tempo change and distortion baths of "I'm Just Going to the Corner to Get Cigarettes (I'll Be Back in a Minute)". There's also the cavalcade of nuances filling the busy sphere of closer "Absent Kids Count", which Pianos Become the Teeth's Kyle Dufrey hops on to add shard-ridden screams to.

Octaves' patchwork of inspiration is a little obvious, but their quilt's a pretty one. Well, maybe pretty isn't the right word, but the resulting work is a promising and unconventionally abrasive start for the young band nonetheless.

Fixthe Fernback
Be Angry at the Sun for Setting on a Set of Sons