Monday 4 December 2017
OCTOPUSSY ~ DWARFS & GIANTS .... review
"If music be the food of love, play on" wrote Shakespeare and although not wanting to disagree with him if the 16th century playwright had replaced the word "love" with "life" I think he may have been a little nearer to the mark. Music is the soundtrack to our lives whether it be cheesy pop, bangin' dance beats or crunching powerchords we are surrounded by it, blaring out of radio's in car's, factory's and shop's, played on phones. I-pods, like death it's one of life's constants. Music can be emotional, inspirational and all stops in-between, what music fan has not had that shiver down the spine-moment when hearing something that hits that sweet spot just right? Where are you going with this I hear you ask, well Desert Psychlist recently experienced one of those rare moments while listening to Polish riffonauts Octopussy's latest release "Dwarfs & Giants"
As the stoner/desert scene has developed it has increasingly taken on board elements from those other genres surrounding it, old Sabbath riffs, tuned down and soaked in swathes of fuzz, although still enjoyable, are no longer enough to make a band stand out from the rest of the herd. Octopussy, Jan Babiński (vocals), Konrad Ciesielski (drums), Piotr Danielewicz (guitars), Michał Banasik (guitars), Marcin Bąkowski (bass guitar) and Michał Koziorowski (keys), address this dilemma by adding into their grooves a little edgy southern swagger and elements of soulful funky swing, so much so that there are songs on "Dwarfs & Giants" it would not be hard to actually dance to. The blues however remains the driving force at the core of Octopussy's sonic assault and although this bands take on those delta grooves are a little more twisted and lysergic than those of your standard blues rock band they are nevertheless from the same source. From the soulful stoner fuzz of opener "Birdman" through to the epic closer "Future Western" "Dwarfs & Giants" is an album full of clever twists and turns with swathes of keyboard texturing weaved around a mixture of swirling guitar solo's, funky chords and ,crunching riffs pushed by growling bass and solid punchy percussion all overlaid with ultra-cool, strong clean vocals.
If you like your grooves a little sandy and Kyuss-like but are also partial to some keyboard soaked soulful funkiness à la Mark III Deep Purple and don't mind a bit of Lynyrd Skynyrd style Southern swagger liberally sprinkled about then "Dwarfs & Giants" is an album you should...
© 2017 Frazer Jones