Exposé Online banner

Pink Octopus — SexBeef and the Pink Octopus
(Roadies Delight Records no#, 2013, DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-04-26

SexBeef and the Pink Octopus Cover artSeattle’s Pink Octopus is primarily the venue for the compositions of Jonathan Louis Huffman, with vocal parts devised by Matthew Swartz (who has a band called SexBeef, hence the album title). At the time of this recording, other contributors included drummer Ian McCarley, who is still with the band, and bassist Erik Smith, who only plays on a couple of tracks, while Huffman and Swartz take care of the low end on the others. (The working band now features Luke Wyman on bass and Michael Porenta on saxophone, and since Swartz lives in LA, Pink Octopus performs as an instrumental unit.) Stylistically, they have qualities in common with contemporary bands like Minus the Bear, The Mercury Tree, and the more proggy side of Umphrey’s McGee: instrumentally challenging rock with busy guitar parts being a defining feature. Instead of playing chords or simple riffs behind the vocal parts, Huffman is often playing really tricky patterns that imply the chords and fit together with the bass parts. At times the sound borders on fusion, which is of course emphasized in the band’s instrumental passages. (It’s also notable that when the band performs live without the vocals, the sound is full and doesn’t seem at all to be lacking anything.) Other factors that come into play are the occasional use of keyboards and electronics. Pink Octopus manages the trick of being complex enough to appeal to prog rock audiences but rocking enough for more mainstream (“indie rock”) listeners as well. Engineering is by Huffman himself — he runs a recording studio in Seattle as well — and is superb, the sound crisp and clean even at the times when there’s a lot going on. This is a band worth watching — their next effort is sure to be even better, if their live shows are any indication.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Pink Octopus

More info
http://pinkoctopus.bandcamp.com

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Machiavel - Machiavel – Here, finally, is the long awaited reissue of the first album by this renowned Belgian symphonic-rock band, who would go on to release two more excellent albums (Jester, Mechanical Moonbeams) before a...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues