From the Nebraska Wesleyan Reveille:
Featured Album Review:
The Static Octopus
Here Comes Nothing
You know, when it comes to matters of how the universe got started, I don’t really believe in the whole intelligent design theory, but I understand its appeal. If I walk into a room and find one hundred roses all laid out in a pattern that spells “IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO WRITE A GLOWING REVIEW”, it’s not out of the question to assume some intelligent creature with a significant amount of money (or floral shop credit) is trying to send me a message. If the theory of intelligent design is applied to songwriting, it seems like a no-brainer that great songs don’t just write themselves, nor do they evolve from less brilliant song-forms.
The Static Octopus writes highly-evolved and intelligent pop-rock songs. The ten cuts on Here Comes Nothing, their debut album, are intelligent because a listener gets the sense that every little detail in the writing and recording of the songs lends itself to careful consideration. For instance, certain songs such as opener “You’re A Curiosity” feature a wildly melodic and psychedelic solo over 12-string guitar arpeggiations. The songs are highly-evolved because they distill many of the finest qualities of rock n’ roll music into a fast and fun collection of tunes. These qualities are driving beats, chimey guitar hooks, harmonious vocal lines, and the punchy immediacy of Top 40 singles. On top of all that, the songs are infectiously catchy.
Most of the songs clock in under three minutes, which of course makes the ten songs fly by. They’re all quite upbeat and even happy-go-lucky, especially the entirely too-short “Magnetic North” which recalls the bounce of Herman’s Hermits’s “Something Tells Me I’m Into Something Good” with Pet Sounds-era Brian Wilson lyrics. Other tracks such as “Quality Western Star” show the band cleverly rewriting the familiar lullaby “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” into a Guided By Voices-esque ditty. What’s especially impressive about the power-pop brilliance of the disc is how lively the tracks sound considering that, according to the liner notes, singer and songwriter Tery Daly sang and played everything but the drums. Studio projects often have the tendency to sound stiff, but that’s not the case on this disc.
Considering all of the catchy melodies and intelligent song-craft, the title of the album seems ironic because Here Comes Nothing is most definitely something worth checking out.
- Sam Segrist