Octopus Syng - Hollow Ghost/Rochelle Salt

by Mark Steele Rating:7 Release Date:2016-08-02

Finnish Psychedelic four-piece Octopus Syng founded by Jaire Patari - Vocals/Guitar, alongside  Joni Seppanen - Guitar/Backing Vocals, Antti Sauli - Bass/Backing Vocals, Jukka Toivanen - Drums, place into our laps, an 11-track double titled album Hollow Ghost/Rochelle Salt.

This is the fourth full studio offering from the group, with album artwork of two iconic busts suggesting a somewhat gothic gloomy theme. Not having heard of Octopus Syng before, it became an intriguing propsect to witness the psychedelic experience contained within - The name of the group may conjure up images of a sea shanty styled group, which is not the case here, this music tends to be darkly colourful with some lighter moments.


Just to prepare you the titles of each track are as varied as the music presented. The opener 'Carbon Dust And Latin Romances 1927' comes across like a B-Movie soundtrack to what could be an extraterrestrial encounter in a Mexican desert. The approaching menacing presence created by hovering organ feedback and wrapped around minimal percussive effects and acoustic guitar phrases.

The lulling opening bars on next song 'Woman', have a reverbed waltz spaghetti western feel provided by equally paced drums, simple  guitar  and chilling vibraphone, Jaire's spectral vocals express themselves between a nasal John Lennon meets a somewhat slumbersome Syd Barrett, the injected wall of sound boost, appears dead on the minute mark bring a further lush depth. Suspense inducing organ chords plus trickling delayed guitar lines on 'Echoes From The Past Centuries', have some heavily inflected vocal lines which seem sightly unclear until rescued around 27 seconds into the song. The drums of Jukka are jazzily neat and effective, the songs comparison to Arthur Lee's Love would be the closest given.


The featured driving and jangling guitar arpeggios delivered on 'Surrealistic Room' bears a resemblance to 'Colours to Life' by Temples, though The Byrds are heard here, it contains a few Psych genres grafted in, part Garage Rock, Folk, and yet it holds a dark Psych pop feel. One of the highlight lyric lines here is "My Typewriter is singing", which sounds very much like lead-singer Jarvis Cocker of 90s britpop band Pulp. A tight arrangement on the short surf-ballad 'Lady Florette', sways along with nice edgy guitar and organ lines that are quite early Pink Floyd moments, also the Syd Barrett melody styling here by Jaire keeps it flowing. Things get slightly epic on 'Melancholy Of Delight', a looped chord progression contains lashings of reverb saturated guitar, organ and string layers, The vocals also seem to never let up as they lap around the sonic circuit.

The Davey Jones-esque 'Belle And Ville', carries itself with a spritely brass march and comes across as quite british in it's tongue-in-cheek expressions. Further on there is 'Unknown Actress' , a melodic ditty about a past love infatuation,  which seems almost Arthur Lee & Love. Three lucid dream ballads have their occasion to end the album, here some brooding bass is followed by a chiming backdrop of guitars and other string instruments on 'Today's Portrait' plods along like a convenient melancholic moodswing. Some nice mellotron string moments feature here also. There seems as though there is an Avalon-esque garden, with a resident enshrouding mist on song 'Walking In The Pale Light' . While the final number floats on with tambourine and guitars keeping a steady rhythm, the earlier released single 'Reverberating Garden Number 7' swings along in a lightly dreamy jazzy fashion. You almost expect it to have a climatic crescendo, but it stays within the songs initial character.

Octopus Syng have provide a varied pallette of songs on Hollow Ghost/Rochelle Salt. There are plenty of inventive arrangements here and not just generic Psychedelic explorations contained with this album. It would seem this inventiveness will be key to further excursions.
 

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