Blackpool, England based Octopus Montage released its debut album, How To Live & How To Lose, on April 2nd.Â Octopus Montage is a pop-punk / metalcore band comprised of brother Dec Naylor (vocals, guitar) and sister Davina Naylor (bass), Alex Jennings (vocals, guitar), and Cain Dylan (drums). The band entered the music scene in 2017 with their cover of âWhatâs New Scooby Doo?â which has over 9 million streams on Spotify.Â Prior to How To Live & How To Lose, they released two EPs in 2019, Catharsis and Reborn (â¦Again).Â
The UK has been a dominate force in rock music for several decades providing an endless supply of musical acts. Birmingham gave us Black Sabbath and Duran Duran. London gave us The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. Manchester gave us Oasis and the Bee Gees. And of course, Liverpool gave us the greatest group of all time, The Beatles. However, the resort city of Blackpool situated along the Irish Sea, 30 miles North of Liverpool and 40 miles NW of Manchester, has not been known for producing musical talent. This may be about to change with Octopus Montageâs debut album.
ââHow To Live & How To Loseâ is our first major project together since our lineup change in 2019. The record has pushed us into places we didnât know we could go, with our heavier sound migrating to extremely brutal places & our softer songs being way more melodic than anything we have ever released before,â shares Alex Jennings. âPersonally, this album hits on a lot of personal experiences & each song takes me on a different journey of which I think will translate to the audience, whether itâs a similar journey or a completely separate one.â
The opening song, âGrow Upâ, sets up the listeners for what is to come over the next 34 minutes. It starts with pop-punk style verses and choruses, wide open guitars, and clean vocals by Dec Naylor. An attitude shift occurs in the bridge with a switch to a harder metalcore sound with aggressive guitars and Alex Jennings screams replacing Naylorâs melodic vocals. The song reverts to pop-punk for the closing outro. The next song, âVoicesâ, is a tug of war between the bands hard and melodic sounds. The verses are filled with unintelligible screams and metal style machine gun rhythms. Choruses maintain the same intense guitar and drum rhythms over which Naylor lays his cleaner vocals. âRight Here With Meâ slows the pace and features chunkier, palm muted guitar parts and clean vocals throughout.
The album continues in a back-and-forth fashion of alternating styles. âDopamineâ, âDonât Run Your Mouthâ, âPhantom Settlementsâ, and âSplitâ display the bands pop-punk sound. While âA Shortcutâ, “Vendettaâ, and âMother Trucker Dude, That Hurt Like A Buttcheek On A Stickâ flash their metalcore sound. The album is like a battle of the bands, pitting two bands with contrasting styles against each other, except in this case both bands are Octopus Montage.
âDopamineâ is the albumâs best song. Metalcore is cast aside, and pop-punk is in full force. ââDopamineâ is a self-deprecating, angst-fueled explosion disguised as a catchy pop-punk tune. The song focuses on the mindset many people find themselves in when theyâre in their late teens and early 20âs and have to start acting like a âproper adultâ but have no idea how to do so,â the band shares. ââIt looks at issues like lifelong friends entering long-term relationships, moving up in their life while youâre still single, working a dead-end job and living at home. Hence the need for a release of Dopamine in the brain – a naturally created chemical in the brain known as a âfeel-good transmitter.ââ
They continue: âThe sarcastic twist, âhere goes another blow, another worthless anecdote,â is inspired by bands like blink-182, who exposed the difficulty of growing up while showing that a bad situation can be looked back on and laughed at later down the line. It proves that everything may not be as bad as it may seem. We also wanted to continue showcasing both our softer and heavier sides.â
How To Live & How To Lose exhibits Octopus Montageâs hybrid combination of pop-punk and metalcore. Its constant shift of musical styles keeps the album interesting throughout. The bandâs pop-punk style is reminiscent of Blink-182 with Naylorâs vocal intonations similar to that of Blink-182 front man Mark Hoppus. Iâm not sure if the band is still struggling to find their identity and musical direction or if this is their final form, but I hope they trend more towards the pop-punk sound. Regardless, I believe Octopus Montage is a band to keep an eye on over the upcoming years.
- Grow Up
- Right Here With Me
- A Shortcut
- Don’t Run Your Mouth
- Mother Trucker Dude, That Hurt Like a Buttcheek On a Stick
- Phantom Settlements
- Jennifer’s Secret
- A Member of Our Band Got His g******s Stuck In a Rather Compromising Position and Got Rushed to a&E
What do think about this album? Comment below.
LEAVE A VOICEMAIL OR TEXT:
LISTEN TO US!
AND ‘SUBSCRIBE’ to our email newsletter to know the very moment a new post is published!