Hello Ocho’s release show was anything but ordinary at The Mammal Gallery, an art gallery and performance space run by Chris Yonker and Christian Shepherd, founding members of the band. How fitting it was to have the release of In Portuguese (April,1st) presented as an art exhibition in the creative area of downtown Atlanta. Deer Bear Wolf put a unique spin on the Atlanta natives release by asking a curated group of artists to create an original piece of work inspired by the band’s new release.
Hello Ocho’s In Portuguese is the sophomore follow up to their 2013 self-titled release. Their new album takes a more clever approach than their debut, climbing the walls by painting unique melodies of bizarre sounds that emit psychedelic-jazz harmonies. The album’s builds and transitions are full of melodic clamors from the guitar, horns, vibraphone, synth, and bass. The band cleverly rings in all of the intricate sounds into Chris Yonkers’ vocals without it overshadowing any of the intense instrumentals. Their updated sound is bold while creating mood and feeling, eliminating anything that makes sense to standard songwriting. In Portuguese is the album that requires you to play closer attention and listen intently, allowing you to define it however you wish.
The almost seven-minute opening song “Irish Wrist Watch” is a foreshadowing look on the entire album, lending itself down a path of twisting sound that allows the band’s stellar musicianship to shine through. Halfway through, the song begins to take on a different shape, forming itself into another persona. Hello Ocho’s skillful sound catapults into a sea of melodic noise that’s dreamy and wild, while opening the doors to their world of psychedelia. Their release show brought even more of an immense amount of intensity with their live set.
The Mammal Gallery was packed full on this night with people that support the underground rock scene here in Atlanta.. The band’s warm and comforting trance immediately got the crowd to start to move as they layer modern rock with the rest of their sound. In Portuguese is an album that slightly challenges the listener with its sometimes frantic intermittent changes in pitch, creating washes of sound that force you to digest promptly. The brilliance of Hello Ocho’s new album is it isn’t meant to be one cohesive piece, instead creating something more singular within each track, and their live set further proved that. The band tears into “Tear Wagon” bringing a fast paced percussion and bass line that gives a Radiohead In Rainbows vibe, while slipping in a slight amount of psychedelic in the background to make it their own. Hello Ocho twists and turns their songs as they climb into “Hallo Gallo” a slightly seductive jazz influenced song with raw power that is fueled by the vibraphone, sax, and piano. Live, you begin to notice the shape of the album and appreciate it more like a catalog of art pieces rather than a collection of songs, which ultimately defines the alternate world of art and music in Atlanta. Hello Ocho provides something more intricate and spellbinding with considerable attention to detail that night, leaving fans fully engaged in the uniqueness of their music and the evening.
Photos By: Mike Gerry
Author: Lisa Parish