Premiere: The Octavias Fortify & Tighten Their Sound On “Mary Anne”
In their own words, the music of The Octavias is “a little punk, a little indie, very loud.” Short and to the point, it works when you listen back to their catalog up until this point, which carries brass impudence through insolent tone and rowdy sound. Key phrase is “up until this point” though because the band’s latest single, “Mary Anne,” practically upends their tagline, almost demanding an addendum that will speak to their fleshed-out sound. The only problem is that “sludge rock stomp decorated with southern flair” doesn’t quite flow for a short band description. That’s okay though. I think the band will be plenty happy with this one addition: “a little punk, a little indie, very loud, truly heavy.” At the end of it all, that’s what this new song is — just heavy rock from a seasoned band with a blazing sound. Out everywhere on Sunday, September 17th, this new single helps The Octavias further carve out a place within Richmond’s teeming music scene, staying true to their stout punk roots while also laying claim to several gritty rock scenes. Today, The Auricular is excited to premiere this song with an exclusive stream below and some more clarity into exactly what drives that heavy sound.
Starting with a tumbling drum pattern, “Mary Anne” instantly sets itself apart from the band’s recent releases with a sound that’s imposing and turbulent from the very start. The vocals roar alongside the instruments here, bringing everything to a fever pitch long before the titular two-word bellow enters to give the music direction and conviction. Bluesy garage theatrics swell throughout the song, fusing into a doom sound that looms over the proceedings in a way that creates something unique in town. A southern style doom punk romp, in some ways. For as heavy as it gets though, the song never gets distended, spending less time exploring the harsh groove and more time raising the frenzy until it peaks into a classic punk breakdown.
Fans of any gritty rock style would be hard-pressed not to play it back once the song culminates, pointing to a song that’s multifaceted but still fleshed out. That resourceful sound makes it strong enough to stand tall within several hard subgenres, something that’s becoming harder and harder in the music zeitgeist as subgenres continue to fracture and splinter. But The Octavias pull it off with ease here, offering a clarion vocal line that will be a welcome earworm for any fan of loud rock music.
“Mary Anne” retains some of the fuzzed-out sound prevalent on The Octavias debut EP from June 2022, but it’s their more recent song that really brings out the contrast within the group. “The Roadtrip Song,” released in July, offers a more breezy, affable sound, more akin to a jaunty ramshackle band. Truth be told, until the song picks up weight towards the end, it sounds like a completely different band than “Mary Anne” offers. But what’s important is that melodic bounce does, in fact, pick up steam and starts to stretch its musical muscle, giving at least a common foundation to each song.
In all, The Octavias pulled off something incredible here. “Mary Anne” isn’t just a heavy song from an otherwise plucky and puckish band. It’s a statement of their versatility and range as musicians. That coming out so early in their tenure as a band only means good things for music fans in town. Maybe their next song will double down on the sound of “Mary Anne.” Maybe it finds a way to bulk up the affable charm of “The Roadtrip Song.” Or maybe it goes in a completely different direction, demanding yet another three-word phrase to tack onto the end of their short band bio. Any of these options will lead to something great for the band, as they’ve proved on this new single, which shows The Octavias have only scratched the surface of their gritty potential
“Mary Anne” is out everywhere on Sunday, September 17th so make sure to follow The Octavias on social media in order to save it on your preferred streaming platform.
The same day it’s released, The Octavias will be playing The Camel alongside Sifter and FLKL as part of the venue’s “staff picks” series. Tickets are $10 and for more information on the show, click here or view the show flyer below.