"The House of Apples & Eyeballs" is not a split, but a year-long, full-length collaboration by both bands. The Octopus Project is known and loved for their uncategorizable broken-guitars-meet-samplers-meet-drums-meet-drum machines sound, while the musical island of Black Moth Super Rainbow would rather play their songs in the woods and not let you know if their gear is broken or working just fine. Holding hands from Austin to Pittsburgh, they set out to create one of the wilder pop records of the year. For anyone familiar with both bands, may you find yourself at peace with this dream record. But know that not all is as it seems, and the challenge of figuring out which band played which parts may sometimes be impossible. While a couple tracks did make it to the record in their original, one-band form, most were passed back and forth for several rounds of dismemberment, rearrangement, and augmentation. The result overflows with sonic treats: cut-up beats and vocoder melodies collide with huge, distorted riffs. A theremin orchestra descends into layered steel guitars before all is dissolved in a wash of hazy synths. The Octopus Project appears courtesy of Peek-A-Boo Records. They have wowed audiences in 2006 at Coachella, and were named one of Rolling Stone's breakout bands of SXSW. They will soon be going into the studio to record their very highly anticipated third album in 2007. Black Moth Super Rainbow lives on Graveface Records, and although known as somewhat of an enigma, has come out of the forest in 2006 to play at the request of bands like Of Montreal and The Black Angels. They have been recording their third full length album that will be released when the time is just right.
Review by Tim Sendra
The House of Apples and Eyeballs is a thrillingly loud, rambunctious, and inventive collaboration between two groups who are very impressive separately, the Octopus Project and Black Moth Super Rainbow. The former brings an intelligent, studied post-rock angle to the mix while the latter adds a goofy, sunshiny electro-pop approach (and some vocoder). Together, the sound they make is aggressive, melodic, and startlingly good. From the opening track, "Spiracle," which clatters like an industrial washing machine with an unbalanced load, to the beatless noisescape that ends the record in a melancholy haze ("Foxy and the Weight of the World"), there's no shortage of dazzling surprises. The first time through you really have no idea what's coming next. It could be sweetly chiming guitars ("Elq Milq"), outer space R&B ("All the Friends You Can Eat"), or subdued techno ("Beds"). Mostly it's just intelligently crafted, blindingly cool tracks like "Lollipopsichord," "Runite Castles," or "Psychic Swelling." This is a collaboration that should be made into an official entity. Once you've crafted something so right, you just have to stick together, right?