Record review: Doctopus – Wobbegong (2014, LP)

doctopus wobbegong

Shortly before his death in 1982, gonzo music journalist Lester Bangs played down the importance of using sophisticated recording techniques by claiming that the best records are made and played on garbage equipment. By that standard, lo-fi slacker-rockers Doctopus must have made one of the records of the year, because their second album is so heroically sloppy it should be served with a napkin and wet wipes. Not that the Perth trio would be the types to give a damn; it’s just good to be pre-warned when dealing with such a gloriously unfocussed piece of work. As their name suggests, the band have a minor preoccupation with marine life, as on the mostly nonsensical title track, which finds bassist/vocalist Stephen Bellair bawling “I wanna live underwater” repeatedly before switching to “I wanna live in a spaceship with you,” in move that’s more indecision than evolution. Naming a track ‘Stadium Rock’ and making it five minutes of squalling, rampaging feedback manically laughs in the face of everything that hair-metal stood for, and the eight-minute tuneless ballad that is closer ‘Chronic Reprise’ kills any chance of clarity and finishes off the record. If you’re looking for an overall idea or a general concept, you won’t find it here. Instead, it’s the utter lack of direction, whatever-goes attitude and general overall mess of sound that is most appealing about this seven-track effort. Musicians take note: this is how to stuff up an album good and proper. Lester would be proud. (Independent)

For mX

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