Magical Manipulation Through Experimental Pop: The Octopus Project’s Fever Forms


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hear psychedelic pop made with your tastes in music progression, composition, and beats in mind?  Every transition or scratchy synth bridge created in your mind, transferred subconsciously to a foursome from Austin, Texas that has a knack for building notes on multiple instrument devices and catapulting them into tasteful melodies, finalized in entirety on a 12 track album.  Your hectic soul, being contained in partially crunchy guitar riffs or heightened synth notes.  Everything I ever wanted from a genre I never really fell in love with is pouring over my senses with fantastical persuasion, making an attempt to beg for my attention, knowing with a secret grin they have all of it.  Their confidence is electrifying and is felt in my fingers and poured into my bloodstream.  I’m doing all I can from melting into this psychedelic state they have brought me to.  They’ve read my mind and love every minute of my ignorantly childish reaction.

This review should end here, but I know you and how you crave a more extensive definition of what this is all about.  I’m pretty embarrassed by the power Fever Forms has over me, upon every track how vulnerable I feel to the Octopus Project’s all-knowing ways.

We begin with a heavier rock approach of “The Falls,” slippery synth makes an appearance, putting on a display, but only with the understanding that it will be set against raucous drums and stylized guitars.  Seamlessly filtering into track two, features a similar genre though feeling partial to a daft punk, science fiction onslaught.

As we round the corner to “Whitby” I can hardly think of a more elated 2 minutes and 35 seconds.  I’m disgustingly infatuated, and would appreciate this as the soundtrack to my day.  As the first single from Fever Forms the music video came early and here lies the only moment where The Octopus Project and my flawless understanding comes to a pause.  It works for the song and I can see where it is creative and should be appreciated, yet it doesn’t work for me.  I expect something different, more limb movement, a slow motion backwards fall into a bright Los Angeles inground pool where bright colors are blinding and happiness is reciprocated through the music and into the characters.  Yes, I know, I’m not a director and am just a girl, standing in front of a band…

The journey through Fever Forms seems rather too fast for my liking.  Yes, there are twelve tracks, they are all very unique, and everyone fits perfectly within its context, yet due to this, it just ends before you can get a handle on the individual nature of them.  This is a common flaw with albums that are hovering on greatness – you can never get enough of them.  As we go through hints of Freelance Whales instrumental quirkiness and oddities (“Unspool,” “Perhap”), set against Tokyo Police Club’s uptempo instigation (“Death Graduates”), among 70s harmonic ABBA anthems (“The Man With The Golden Hand”), and with a futuristic beat-tastic “Choi Sighs” savoring Madonna’s “Vogue”-esque background vocals you can be sure to experience more than you could have imagined.

They turn to one another in a silent agreement, that their final song will be one of magnificent proportions.  The Project is obviously aware that this continual building of a simple yet flowery melody will clear out any questioning I would have on how heavily I will ingest this album.  This is the one, they all nod and begin to completely take me over with simplistic and psychedelic 60s beats and riffs overlaid by harpsichordal synths.  I am left without a fighting chance to recant from re-living this experience again, and again.  They have won and I must say how perfectly ecstatic I am to have allowed The Octopus Project the chance at proving their need to be an insatiable presence in my life.  Congratulations, I’m succumbed with wonder at your experimental pop madness.

by Charissa Lock

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