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"Music Matters | Octalux"

Four UK students celebrate the release of their new album, "Loud, Fast and Awesome"

After releasing their first CD on Saturday, four UK students describe their band, Octalux, "as the offspring of My Chemical Romance, KISS, and Johnny Cash," if there ever was such.

Sound like a stretch? Not for Brandon Hurley, Ryne Hunt, Dustin Quillen, and Chase Gabbard. The CD, "Loud, Fast and Awesome" went on sale this weekend at CD Warehouse, but not before the band threw quite a celebration for its release Saturday at the Short Street Lounge.

As a mild mannered guy, I had never actually gone to the Short Street Lounge. After my new experience I learned that it is in fact a good idea to leap into uncharted territory and try something new, but just remember to bring a set of earplugs. Trying something new can be loud.

Octalux, with Hurley as lead singer, Hunt on lead guitar, Quillen on bass and background vocals, and Gabbard on drums, gave their all in this significant performace. While I heard no Johnny Cash while listening to the band, I was informed that Hunt's inspiration to start playing music came from listening to his dad's old Johnny Cash music. Pair that with Hurley's father's love for playing Cash tunes, and the combination is understandable.

"My dad played a twanger a lot when my mom worked, so it kind of sank in," said Hurley.

While listening to the band I heard shades of My Chemical Romance, and also some Pennywise thrown in, which is especially prevalent in songs like "Razorblades and Sutures".

Before Octalux took the stage, three opening bands entertained about 200 devoted fans. The first was Broken Stone, a hardcore band from Bloomington, Ind., directly followed by a punk band called Euphonic Remedy that was so lound I decided to sit outside and skip out on the third band, to recover from the headache I just recieved. The group I missed out on was Four, from Louisville.

Already with devoted fans decked out in Octalux T-Shirts, this band is hopeful their new album will be deemed successful by all ages.

"We play at skate parks and teenagers seem to enjoy our music and we have older people who just come to the bar to listen to the music and forget about what's going on in their lives," said Hurley.

The band members produced "Loud, Fast and Awesome," independantly, producing 1,000 discs. Even though the CDs didn't arrive until Friday morning, they remain confident in their new release.

Since I'm no good in a mosh pit, I sat toward the back. The band treated the audience the same way seasoned veterans would have treated a sold-out arena. Octalux performed its heart out and were even more passionate than some bands that play at Rupp Arena.

I often hear from music lovers say they got to see a band in concert before they made it big. I hope now I can say the same thing about Octalux. - Kentucky Kernel


"SNITCH INSIDE SCOOP: MUSIC"

For a local band, the release of a new cd is one of the most important events in their career. Octalux is about to release their second full length CD, the follow up to their 2002 self released debut "From the Planet of Love". The band has changed a lot in the past few years. More mature as song writeers, with a more rockin' sound, Octalux's new CD might be the thing that shoots them into the upper echelon of local bands. I talked with the bands lead singer and founder, Brandon Hurley, and got the inside scoop on this rising group of rockers.

Q. For people who haven't heard you, what does Octalux sound like?
A. If My Chemical Romance, KISS, and Hank Williams Sr. had an orgy, the result would be Octalux.

Q. Ok, I get the My Chemical Romance and Kiss influence, but when do you throw in the Hank Sr.?
A. That's just what got me started playing guitar, because my dad listened to Hank. I don't know if there's really any in Octalux's music, but I like it.

Q. Are you the main songwriter?
A. I write the majority of the lyrics. The songs come from the four of us.

Q. You're getting ready to release your second CD. What's it called?
A. "Loud, Fast and Awesome". Its self released and lives up to the billing.

Q. How is this CD different from your first release "From the Planet of Love"?
A. We've grown as musicians, trimmed the fat, and got some quality advice from some friendly people along the way. The songs are a lot more to the point. There's a lot less riffing and a lot more straight ahead "get to the point", instead of long, drawn out five or six minute songs. The songs are a little heavier and a lot faster. Its not punk rock, but its got a lot of punk, rock, and "Emo" mixed into it.

Q. What advice was given to you?
A. David Angstrom from (now defunct local band) Supafuzz showed us about songwriting, and crafting all the songs. All four of us are huge fans of Supafuzz. We miss those guys like you wouldn't believe. All my on-stage tricks I've stolen from Dave.

Q. Does your new CD have any cover songs?
A. One. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn". Its done in a quite unique way. Its not a ballad, its pretty rocked up. And if you actually listen to the lyrices, you can tolerate our version better than the original because its slow, kinda sad and sappy, but then fast, its more like "F" you bitch, why'd you dump me? I hate you!

Q. So you didn't stay true to the original version of the song?
A. Heck no. There's no staying true to Poison.

Octalux's CD release party will be saturday, October 1st at the Short Street Lounge with local band Euphonic Remedy, Broken Stone from Indianapolis, and Louisville's Four. You can pick up the CD there, or at many local record stores like CD Central, CD Warehouse, Spy Records, or on the bands website. For more information, check out www.octalux.com. - Lexington Snitch


"Hench's Hometown Heros"

Octalux - Loud, Fast, & Awesome


A few years back, somebody somewhere had the excellent idea of mixing the purist rock lifestyle of the 1970's and 1980's (drugs, booze, and WOMEN) with other genres. In fact, it seems like a huge variety of acts all over the rock sub-culture have been getting their grit on lately, and more and more dirtballs just keep springing up.

Lexington, Kentucky's Octalux are one such band. Boozed up and brash, the band doesn't take anything seriously but the good old rock. Hell, they've even named themselves after the Latin word for orgasm! If that doesn't tell you what you're getting on Loud, Fast, & Awesome, I sincerely doubt anything will.

And Loud, Fast, & Awesome it is. Being a metal fan personally, this isn't always too fast, but it is definitely cranked stereo music and a whole lot of fun. The disc flies by at a brisk pace; before you know it, the whole affair is all over. And so, let's face it folks; that's the best part. This CD is one of those short little albums you can spin once, repeat, and enjoy all over again. Despite the energetic optimism amidst all the high-octane rock, there is also some surprisingly strong guitar work (at least amongst the punk crowd) and a sense of folksy chaos. It all adds up to something akin to a "pickup truck flying down a mud road at 120 MPH in the dead of night" vibe.

The fittingly titled "Electric Sex" kicks things off with a band, the band's Motley Crue/Avenged Sevenfold rock being mixed with a hint of punkier groove amidst all that wankery. The amazingly sticking "Hi-5" will be stuck in your head for days, and by no means is this a bad thing. Vocalist Brandon Hurley establishes himself here as a unique frontman; he has an odd, emotive twang to his voice that really struck a chord somewhere in my eardrums.

The darker "Razorblades and Sutures" could be unflinchingly described as Guns and Roses meeting My Chemical Romance for a jam in central Iowa. The slow-burning "S.A.D." is one of the best songs here, and a melancholy rocker that I think would do well on rock radio. The swinging "Unicorn" is an uptempo fist-pumper of optimistic triumph and inspiration. A riff or two vaguely recalls the most mainstream moments of the Smashing Pumpkins, a band I didn't expect to reference in this review.

"H-Bomb" starts off with some soft, lush moping before slowly spreading its wings as a Weezer-like mid-tempo rock song. Despite its name, "Emo Song" is actually one of the best songs on the entire album. In my mind, this stands as the perfect mix of old-school glam-era rock 'n roll and introverted pop-punk rock of now. "Grrl Tron Toledo" is pretty basic pop-punk rock, nothing to write home about. It's not bad, but not amazing either.

"Loser" is bouncy, feel-good rock, and nothing I can bring myself to bash. In fact, I can see it being a guilty pleasure for many people. "Gun Pointed at the Head of the Universe" is yet another fantastic barnstormer of a song, and goes straight for the jugular with upbeat rock.

"E.R.H.I.T." is a low-country cover song that will surprise plenty of people. I didn't see this earthy, punk-drenched cover of one of rock's classics coming at all, and it is a strong end to a strong album. Loud, Fast, & Awesome should mark the start of a new genre of popular rock and it's snotty little brother, punk rock. Many bands are starting to cross punk's speedy spasms with more mature antics, the likes of which are still crass but not nearly as juvenile as say Blink-182. If you want to rock out like mad one crazy Friday night, bring this one along. Oh, and just for the record---"don't drink and drive."

Tracklisting
1. Electric Sex
2. Hi-5
3. Razorblades and Sutures
4. S.A.D.
5. Unicorn
6. H-Bomb
7. Emo Song
8. Grrl Tron Toledo
9. Loser
10. Gun Pointed at the Head of the Universe
11. E.R.H.I.T. (cover song)

Rating: 3.5/5 - Antimusic.com


"THP Rewind"

ME/Music Entertainment Magazine


THP REWIND

By Steve Nall
sn@musicnews.com


Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of THP Rewind. This month I’m bringing you Lexington’s own Octalux. I hadn’t planned on being back here so soon, but when I got the call that these guys had a new CD on the way, I knew I had to give you the 411. The project is entitled o Apologies For Broken Hearts” and should be hot off the press and headed to a record store near you even as we go to press. Thanks to the band’s vocalist Hurley, I was able to get an advance copy for his review.

For those of you just joining us, I reviewed Octalux in the January 2008 edition of ME (memusicnews.com/THP_jan08.html) as they were writing and recording what was to become this latest CD. Octalux plays down n’ dirty, LA influenced brand of hook-filled hard rock with a hint of sleaze and a dash of the Misfits thrown in for good measure. From the opening salvo of “wake Up, Time to Die!” the band hits you with riff after riff that drives over you like an 18-wheeler in a Stephen King novel. Now some of you may be saying, “Yeah, right…”, but just check out the slammin’ “Ashtray Face” and the title track and you’ll understand what I mean. They make good use of the loud/soft dynamic, so prevalent in today’s music, in the songs “Black Shirts and Iron Crosses” and “She-Beast” where they control the chaos with some well-placed dropouts and clean sections. Also the use of effects on the vocal and guitar (predominately the “telephone’ effect), add their own type of tension and dynamics and you really feel the energy when the band blasts into full force. But full on slam is not the only trick in the Octalux book as they pull out the power ballad(ish) “The Last To Know” and the big, open power chord sections in “Chromosome”. As far as guitar solos go, there aren’t many to speak of with the exception of the tasty wah-wah solos in “Chromosome” and “No Apologies”, as well as sweet bit of speed in the hard-rockin’ “She-Beast”. If I had to pick a song or two I think are the hits, I’d have to go with a previously unmentioned track entitled “Semi-Automatic Mouthwash” and the album’s title track. The opening riff of “Semi” just screams to be put on the radio and the vocal aping of the guitar in the B-section is a great melodic hook. If the band followed it up with “No Apologies”, I think they’d be well on their way to the big time with a couple of hit singles under their collective belt.
Octalux plays metal that would be right at home ruling the 80’s hard rock roost. Every song on “No Apologies for Broken Hearts” slams and soars with big, arena style vocal melodies and riffs, and the gang vocals in “Wake Up”, “Black Shirts And Iron Crosses” and “Chromosome” are sure to give some great crowd interaction when pulled out live.
The songs are well written and the arrangements are packed with numerous musical and vocal hooks that are sure to get the band attention on Modern Rock radio across the country. I only lost interest in a few tracks, but in their defense, I noticed that just as my attention was flagging, there was always a hook that would fly in and bring me right back into the song. The project was very well recorded and mixed, and my only complaint is that I wish the vocals were turned up just a little bit more.
But that small problem aside, Octalux has produced a great sounding CD and I can honestly say that if you see “No Apologies For Broken Hearts” in the rack at your favorite music store, buy it!!
If you’re a fan of pure, balls out rock-n-roll, Octalux is the band for you. You can catch them live April 11th at Wise Guys in Somerset, KY, and on May 1st for the “No Apologies For Broken Hearts” CD Release Party at The Skylight Lounge in Lexington, KY. You can also get a sneak peek of some of the songs mentioned here, as well as some tracks reviewed in their previous article, by going to myspace.com/Octalux.


- ME Music Entertainment


"The Hard Place"

January 2008


OCTALUX

What's up lovers of all that is rockin' and metal? I hope that this installment finds you jammin' happily into the New Year and ready for some more slammin' bands! This month I thought I'd keep things at home and give ya'll the heads up on Lexington's own Octalux. The bands' been around for a few years now and have released several CDs including 2004's "A World Of Hurt" and "Loud, Fast + Awesome" in 2005. Like every other musician/band in the world, Octalux has a myspace profile and so I let my fingers do the walkin' and headed on over to check 'em out. The band has taken their time writing and recording the follow up to "Loud, Fast + Awesome", and therefore the songs on their myspace jukebox are a mixture of tracks from the afore mentioned CDs.





The first track I pulled up was "Hi5" from "Loud, Fast + Awesome". This is a very energetic track that slams in right away with a cool tom pattern on the drums that really works well with the chords of the intro. Riding on top of this is a very catchy single note riff that adds greatly to the "interesting" factor that every band that is seriously trying to make it needs in order to grab the listener right away and drag them into the "meat" of the song. The verse continues the tom pattern under a well played, very tight "double picked" chord pattern on the distortion drenched guitars. Don't worry if you don't know what I mean, it sounds good, trust me! The chorus brings us back to the intro chords and that nice single note riffing that is really the hook of the song. The vocal melodies in the verses and choruses fit the song perfectly; with the chorus following the guitar hook for a very effective effect (can I say those words back to back? Oh well...). The second verse breaks down the drums to just a pounding kick drum with the guitars keeping the riff going and the vocals are hit with what seems like a very lo-fi or "small speaker" sound that works well so that when the whole band kicks back in for the second half of the verse the overall effect is very powerful. After another sing-along chorus, the song breaks down to just the guitars with one playing the chords to the chorus with the other hitting us with another single note riff. The drums come back in for the solo section which although is not full of lead guitar swagger and tons of notes, is very melodic and fits the song perfectly. There's something to say for actually thinking of the song and not just busting out the fastest solo you can imagine - economy can be a good thing too! After the solo, the band kicks back into the chorus again and after some possibly Misfits inspired "whoa-o'"s slams to a satisfying stop. With the almost overt pop influence and melodic lick in the intro and chorus, this one has a real Foo Fighters appeal to me and I found my little head a-bobbin and my foot tappin' along from the start as the band laid down some serious hard-rockin.





The next track was called "Electric Sex", also from "Loud, Fast + Awesome". This one kicks in with another cool single note riff with the drums hitting some double stops to punctuate the riff in the right spots. This is joined by a harmony to the initial riff for a few times around before the verse intro begins. The only way I can think to describe this part is "raging"! The guitars take the intro riff and amp it up to full chords (and full volume!) and the drums join in the mayhem while also giving the track a real sense of urgency with the constant riding of the crash cymbal. The band allows you to catch your breath after this all out assault with some nice metallic "chugs" that bounce between the speakers for a good effect that builds the tension some more before the verse properly kicks in. The verse itself is straight up metal with the guitars continuing their chug and the drums settling in to hold the song together. Halfway through the verse a cool guitar octave section shows up that keeps with the original riff but at the same time expands on the main idea very well. The vocals, to me, are very punk rock and have been treated with some nice distortion (Yes, there actually is a difference in good and bad distortion!) that fits the attitude of the song and gives them somewhat of a Butthole Surfers vibe. After the second chorus section the band breaks it down with some held out power chords and some well placed tandem guitar and drum stabs that leads into the pre-solo section that finds the band revisiting the single note harmonies that also serve as the verse intros. The solo on this sounds very off the cuff and energized but it also serves the song well. Immediately after the solo the song suddenly crashes to a stop. Although this one only clocks in at 2:45, it does its job well. This one is definitely great headbanging material and deserves the title "Loud, Fast + Awesome"!

Octalux is a band that definitely knows what they're about and knows how to relate to their listening audience. The have a blend of metal and good ol' dirty rock and roll and they know when to bring each style out and break it over your head the best way possible. Their songs are very well written and recorded, so you can tell that they really believe in them and have taken the time to make sure that each part delivers maximum impact for the listener. I have to admit, I hadn't really listened to them before, even though they're a Lexington band, but I am now glad that I did. Despite the fact that the posted songs were a few years old, they still sounded fresh and "now". I think if these guys can hold it together (we all know how hard that can be!) and get some real exposure, I think they have a great shot at making it to the show. The band didn't have any show dates posted, but you can check out these songs and a couple more on the web at http://myspace.com/octalux.

Well, it looks like we've come to the end of another installment of The Hard Place. If you are in a band and would like to be reviewed in The Hard Place, just send your CD and picture to The Hard Place c/o ME Magazine, PO BOX 54293 Lexington, KY 40555 or email your EPK or site address to sn@memusicnews.com with the subject THE HARD PLACE. Remember, it's important to us that all band pictures are properly credited, so send that information along with everything else. That's it, so until we meet next month, keep supporting local music and remember, your new favorite band could only be an issue away...













© ME Music News 2009
All Rights Reserved
Lexington, KY



- ME Music Entertainment


Discography

No Apologies for Broken Hearts (2009)
Loud, Fast & Awesome (2005)
World of Hurt (2004)
From the Planet of Love (2001)

Photos

Bio

Based in Lexington, KY, Octalux has been tearing up the eastern seaboard for nearly 10 years now and things are only looking up for this band of rowdy rockers.
An outstanding live band, they give an incredible high-energy performance from the first note to the last. These guys leave it all on the stage and give the crowd everything they came for and more.
The band is made up of Hurley, lead vocals/rhythm guitar, Matt, bass/supporting vocals, Fite, lead guitarist/supporting vocals and Adam, drums.
With their latest CD, “No Apologies for Broken Hearts”, scheduled to drop on May 1st, the band has just kicked off their No Apologies Tour ’09.
The tour kicked off in January and will be rolling throughout the year.
With a recently signed show to open for LA GUNS in Cincinnati, and a major distribution deal in the works with Blastzone Entertainment Group, a scheduled TV performance in Atlanta in April and a cover story in SIR Magazine in Atlanta, the future is brighter than ever for Octalux.
As Octalux always says, “Welcome to the show!” It’s bigger, badder, and more raucous than ever!