Author: Portia Early

Enemy Octopus
Street: 07.05.11
Enemy Octopus = Inside Out  + Audio Slave + One Day as a Lion
This Salt Lake City alt-rock quartet definitely has an affinity for Rage Against The Machine. Hitting new topics like the economy as well as the basics (corporate greed, war and government controversy), Enemy Octopus performs a tight set on the short, self-titled EP with vocals on four of the six tracks, the bookends being instrumental. Actually, the first track is dreamy and sounds more like Pink Floyd than Rage. Vocalist Alejandro has his own innately strong voice (though you’ll hear the ghost of Zack de la Rocha), which is as professional and clear as his band counterparts. The guitar solos are wicked from Cal Van Gogh, Parker’s bass pops out of each statement song, and drummer Carlos is just as creative on the kit. “A Rising” has a chant in the center of the song, which is similar to RATM’s “Bullet In The Head.” It seems that Enemy Octopus is exceedingly passionate in what they do. Give the original self-titled EP a listen and enjoy the slightly psychedelic side of the SLC band.

The Anchorage
Street: 11.11.11
The Anchorage = Dashboard Confessional + Insatiable
Welcome to emo-ska! This is a fun/hate romp through two genres, which actually works for locals The Anchorage. Lyrics about pointing fingers at the lazy, the runaways, the suicide-attempters and those who aren’t facing reality in general, meet a wall of happy horns. It sounds very strange, I know, but Derek Harman’s Chris Carrabba-like vocals harmonize with the bouncy quintet. Ben Lambert’s trombone, and Erik Vorkink’s trumpet have a sound that’s just as strong as a five-piece horn section without being overwhelming. Reggae beats come through on Harman’s and Scott Inkley’s guitars. It is a tight and professional-sounding CD, and you get a whopping 12 unique tracks to boot. It’s a depressingly fun ride, and that’s a compliment.

The Kissing Party
Street: 04.06.11
S.L.F.M. = Tiny Tim + Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole
Utah musician S.L.F.M. (A.K.A. Jessica Davis) has something unique. The music of a girl who sings with a distorted mic and plays with a distorted ukulele The Kissing Game may be an acquired taste. However, her voice goes into beautiful falsettos, taking a break from her usual barking alto with quirky and strange songs—all under 1:45—about love and heartbreak. The twisted-sounding uke and her scalding vocals make one smile, laugh or even grimace through the sometimes hard-hitting, original lyrics. The Kissing Party is a must-listen just to hear something new and unique. Then you can choose to love it or leave it.