With a band name like Electric Octopus, and an album titled Smokyhead, there’s a pretty good chance you’re in for a long strange trip. This Belfast trio themselves claim to be “a new and exciting musical cabal that’ll take your mind on a weird and wonderful adventure.”
When you need to get away from it all, to sit quietly somewhere and tune out the world, Electric Octopus invites you into theirs. This collection of aesthetically psychedelic jams is for the truly dedicated audiophile. Each track averages ten minutes long. Get comfortable. You’re going to be here a while.
Smokyhead is three power pieces of instrumental poetry told through notes, half notes, inflections, progressions, and riff changes. This galactic star ride is operatic in construction. Title track, ‘Smokyhead’ begins with a grand overture, leading into a spectacle of sound. Axe grinding guitar rips over cool drums like a comet in the night sky. Drums then pick up the tempo, joined by discordant, jazz tinged guitar; then on into blues riffs, and steamrolls into psychedelic rock.
‘For Now’, brings the listener back down to earth though with an eye still turned to the glittering firmament. This is softer, friendlier. A chance to catch your breath after a jarring ride. ‘Leaving Room’ bridges these two divergent formulas, ascending from melodies into crescendos, from crescendos into blues jams, from blues jams into more familiar rock solo territory. From here back into the unexpected and unknown, taking the listener blithely through this portrait of the vastness of space and sound.