The Narrow Road to Oku [MP3
Love Will Turn You Around
The AC Cutter
Wally and the Gang
The Hope and the Shame
(Sleeping at) Barry's House
Red and Gold
Ten Ten Thousand
Artist: The Octagon
Release date: August 28, 2007
The Octagon's second album is called Nothing But Change.
The record was engineered by the infamous Jerry Kee in his studio outside Chapel Hill, NC. Jerry is a very talented engineer. Before, he worked on amazing records by Superchunk and Polvo.
The Octagon recorded and mixed the album over a period of three days.
Almost all of the songs were recorded live: there are only a few vocal overdubs. The Octagon wanted to capture the sound of an actual band in an actual room all playing their instruments at the same time. They feel they succeeded.
“Nothing But Change” was released on August 28, 2007, by Serious Business Records. The album title is a lyric from the song “The Narrow Road to Oku.” It has two meanings:
1)change is the only constant in this world: there is nothing else besides change
2)when you have no bills in your pocket, only coins
There are seventeen songs on the record. Most of them are shorter than your average pop song. The Octagon likes it that way. They think that most pop songs are too long.
DOWNLOAD: The Octagon: "The Narrow Road to Oku" [MP3]
"Nothing But Change, the second album from New York's the Octagon, finds the group embracing a spare, clean, live sound that captures the emphatic emotional push of the songs while leaving some breathing room between the players. Recorded in a mere three days, Nothing But Change plays like an effort to document the way this band sounds in performance rather than create a monolithic studio sound, and the results not only succeed admirably, they suit the tenor of these songs very well indeed. While the band can let loose with some post-hardcore rave-up on tunes like "Carlito's Way," and display a righteous but articulate rage on "Macaca," most of the time the Octagon show how to be passionate and thoughtful without sounding pretentious, and many of the tunes suggests a looser, more playful fusion of Television's guitar interplay and the Minutemen's sharply skeletal melodic fire. The Octagon's approach isn't as showy as either of those groups, and neither Johnny Mays nor Zachary Mexico can handle guitar with the virtuosity of D. Boon, Tom Verlaine, or Richard Lloyd, but it's hard not to imagine they haven't learned a few things from listening to them, and bassist the Bunny and drummer Will Glass are a compelling, efficient rhythm section. For its surface simplicity, there's a lot going on in Nothing But Change, and the Octagon's music reveals new layers each time you spin this disc, making this one album that deserves steady rotation on your personal play list."
All Music Guide
"The Octagon's "The Narrow Road to Oku" [i]s a little disoriented, this sandy rock-song. It went wandering into the desert with a bottle of red wine, a Pavement album, and a few hours later is like: what the fuck? Whoever it was supposed to meet with didn't show up; whichever stars it was expecting to see didn't make an appearance. And now its shoes are tied in unfamiliar knots, its hair is filled with grains of unfamiliar minerals, and it's got a catchy song in its head - something it found in a dune, burnished and hopeful and even a little buddhist. Whereever the hell it came from, The Octagon's gonna carry it around for a while." - Said the Gramophone
"Rock that's both sloppy and strung-out, shades of Pavement and The Minutemen, with hooks that fall stumbling out of an alleyway before you realised they were coming. You don't expect a song like this to be so catchy." - The Skinny
"However one slices it, Nothing But Change
is an outstanding disc--raucous yet efficient, wrenchingly sad yet goofy at times; very, very raw yet poetic; daring; honest, even scarily so. i wonder what it must be like to play such emotionally up-front music. it's real and new and smart and, yes, extremely catchy. special nod to one of my drum heroes, Will Glass, who manages to make REAL jazz know-how and kit-tone sound at home inside punk-spirited indie rock--no small achievement (if you are really listening, you will hear Ed Blackwell and Levon Helm for sure)."
-Dark Forces Swing Blind Punches
"The #2 album that no one heard in 2007
. The Octagon crafted an amazing second album...Songs such as “The Narrow Road To Oku” deserve a spot in every jukebox between here and Spain so people can nod along to the clever lyrics while pondering their mistakes. Check out ...“Oku,” and be prepared for love at first song."
-The St. Cloud Times
"The Octagon recently dropped their second album, Nothing But Change
(SBR14). We certainly like it and we're pretty sure you would like it as well."
"Every song on this record (17 in all!), is chuck full of catchy vocal melodies, driving guitar work with a nice lo-fi sound and all around great indie rock sensibility. I could see this band gaining great popularity with the current trend in the world of indie rock these days but these guys are a cut above the rest."
Nothing But Change's seventeen tracks whiz by pretty quickly, largely because only two of them make it past the three minute mark. But part of the reason this record turns out so fleeting is its fun factor. Yes, I just said "fun factor." In a manner borrowed most overtly from Pavement, The Octagon's three troublemakers tromp their way through these songs with a melodic but unceasingly carefree ethic...The best songs on this album match solid hooks with a carefree demeanour: "The Narrow Road to Oku" recalls zesty mid-90s indie rock, "Carlito's Way" is peppy and angular, and impulsively structured "The Hope and the Shame" is a joy to behold...if fun, gleeful indie rock is something you're hip to, The Octagon will not disappoint.