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Octopus - An Ocean Of Rocks CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.11 | 25 ratings

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4 stars This second offering on the now defunct Sky label from Frankfurt art rockers Octopus, the now rare Ocean of Rocks has to be one of the unsung gems of the '70s with it's dominating mult- layered keyboards that sound like everything from fiery Kieth Emerson/Tony Banks composites dueling with a scorching lead guitar to sweeping ambient passages. Accompanied by solid quixotic female vocals of Jennifer Hensel that can be compared to contemporaries Jennie Haan of Babe Ruth or Frumpy's Inga Rumpf but with a subtler somewhat more subdued touch with plenty of play & dynamics backed up by a rhythm section that's right up in your face, this was one of my favourite albums from lesser known German bands of the 70s.

Anyone into heavy Emerson or Ken Hensley type keyboards who are still in possession of a turntable will definitely get high on this ( it has yet to be released on CD ). All the structured compositions flow beautifully and are full of changes and suprises such as a the Spanish flavoured On My Mind which also develops into a cool rythmic groove. Although not as lanquid as many other German bands this band arrived later on in the scene seemingly oblivious punk rock and other commercial forms of music which were beginning to take hold. They fearlessly soldier on here in the true tradition of early seventies art rock and the sound here are more distantly reminicient of English bands such as Uriah Heep than any of the Krautrock freakouts of the 70s and then there's also unmistakable Genesis leanings on tracks like The Shifting of Space and Time. The Entrance leads off a quasi suite-like second side with an acoustic guitar attends the almost operatic vocals of Jennifer Hensel. The whole beauty of the whole work is that it's heavy and intense but manages to give an impression of laid back restraint with the occasional injection of intricate energy provided by the guitars of Pit Hensel and Werner Lithau's keyboard array of keyboards and the relatively sparse but effective female vocals that show up at the right times.

One of the most together art rock bands of the seventies who, like many German bands, had they got more exposure and arrived a bit earlier in the decade would have turned more heads. Not as intense as Eloy, Jane or Nektar and without a doubt it`s the alluring female vocals that contribute to the band`s appeal. Groovy, rocking and just completely enjoyable without going off the deep end. Definitely a lost artifact worth hunting down.

Vibrationbaby | 4/5 |


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