OCTOPUS PROJECT | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

OCTOPUS PROJECT 

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I've been a big fan of the Octopus Project from the get-go, so it's nice to see their wild, upbeat instrumentals finally getting some recognition (some high-energy SXSW shows helped, landing them a recent David Fricke shout-out in Rolling Stone). Their third full-length, Hello, Avalanche (Peek-a-Boo), out next month, is the first produced by an outside engineer: the band traveled to Seattle's Bear Creek Studios, where Ryan Hadlock helped them collage newly recorded studio sounds with existing elements from demos and rehearsal tapes. The new MO suits their schizo aesthetic: the opener, "Snow Tip Cap Mountain," is a Brian Wilson-esque space symphony of vibraphone, strings, and what sounds like a giant chorus of buzzing insects. It all makes for a strangely apt intro to the next track, "Truck," a barn-burning rocker that stacks up to Yo La Tengo's best for sheer catchiness and unbridled energy. Stereo Total headlines, the Octopus Project plays third, Aleks & the Drummer play second, and All the Creatures of the Sea open. a 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-468-3401, $15, 18+. --J. Niimi

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