Published Aug 19, 2014It seems Marc Morrissette and the rest of Octoberman have some unfinished business. Their new album, What More What More, picks up where 2012's Waiting in the Well left off; exploring themes of death and strained relationships with hope and shaky optimism. The band's fifth album comes at a decisive moment for Octoberman, who have lost and added band members recently, and represents a crucial impasse for the future of Octoberman and, perhaps more significantly, for frontman and former solo performer Morrissette.
Octoberman has grown significantly from Morrissette's original pseudonym project in 2005. What More What More features a broad range of instrumentation, all on prominent display, but take a back seat to Morrissette's shaky vocals. The exhausted lyrics stress courage in the face of adversity, best portrayed on "Todd," on which he encourages that, "We are all we are, we know it's hard, c'mon Todd." What More What More is full of fantastically sorrowful consultations and guidance, too, as on "Gone," where "There's another town beyond us, maybe that one will have people to adore."
Beyond the melancholy, Octoberman unleash some stellar riffs. The opening thrashing of "I Hear Birds" and the freewheeling riffing over fragmented rhythm guitars featured on "Terra" and "Upon Arrival" offer tonal opposition to some of the album's more down-tempo tracks. Andy Magoffin's presence as engineer (Great Lake Swimmers, Constantines) is succinctly felt on the album's single "Dogwalk," a fantastic rumbling-drum indie rock track on an otherwise folk-rock collection. (Ishmalia)