Octaves – Greener Pastures

  • Keith Rosson posted
  • Reviews


Greener Pastures - Hotfoot Records

Octaves, man, they’re just one of those bands. They’re great at what they do, they’re entirely competent, and in a live setting the shit they’re throwing down undoubtedly drops some jaws. The only problem is that once the intensity of the live setting is taken away, the listener begins to realize that Octaves have steeped themselves in something wholly familiar and predictable. So while they’re good at what they do, you’ve most likely heard dozens of bands like this before. But whether that’s a bad thing is entirely up to the listener – the band is entirely confident and the music is well-executed.

The stuff that they’re doing – off-kilter, complicated, brutal – isn’t easy, and it’s to their credit that they make it seem effortless. There are threads of everyone from Botch and Grave Maker and Convergewoven into this particular tapestry, and while Octaves certainly aren’t the first to try their hand at this style, I think the entire genre owes a lot to 90s screamo bands like Saetia and Julia and even supposedly minor players like The Ladderback, mostly for those bands’ willingness to fuck with the idea of melody and structure. Like I said, Octaves is good at what they’re doing, but this entire type of music often times seems more an exercise in… placement. With songs having few discernable parts, more like an interlacing of crazy fucked up riffs salted with the occasional pretty melody, like math rock being performed with chainsaws, it seems that bands like Octaves seem more bent on evoking a particular mindset, a particular emotional state (and not a pretty one at that) than, like, playing actual discernable songs.

They’re a relentless band, and good at what they do, but as someone who’s a sucker for catchiness, the spastic and fractured nature of the music does little more than set me on edge. Don’t let the ghostly, whimsical cover fool you – Greener Pastures comes across like a belt sander skipping across concrete. Mean and uncompromising – if you’re a fan of stuff on, say, Deathwish, Octaves would more than hold your interest.