A worthy successor

Having reviewed Octaves debut album back in 2011 and very much enjoyed it I was excited to get my hands on their new offering Which Way the Wind Blows, which I am pleased to say, does not disappoint. Their sound still sports that excellent combination of jagged dissonance, killer melodies and emotionally raw screams that so drew me in to the last record. As I recall I described Greener Pastures as reminiscent of Poison The Well, and this holds true here, but these new tracks also have a Mewithoutyou vibe about them - mathy riffage and complex structures at the forefront but a gentler and more refined complexity underpins the album and comes out on tracks like Tax Break.

The immediate difference here is the depth of the sound - whether this is down to the production or a tweak in their style is hard to pinpoint but the best way to describe it is where the last album was scuzzy and jagged this one is layered and jagged - like looking at a photograph with huge depth of field rather than one focussed on the foreground only, there is a lot going on here and much of it is very clever. Take the brilliant bass lines on tracks like Poppycock which are overlaid with twin guitars turning out fiddly but also nicely melodic moments and that's just one small example. If you were a fan of Greener Pastures don't worry though; the refinements are there sure but that's not to say that the album now lacks an emotional core - far from it are still plenty of raw edges to be had.

The West Baltimore hardcore mob have penned a worthy successor to that great debut LP and one that is thoroughly engaging - aggressive enough to satisfy those cravings for something intense and heady and clever enough to appeal to fans of those technical riffs they do so well. Great stuff.