CD Review: 800 Octane “Requiem”

Requiem_booklet_final.inddThere are a lot of bands out there in the music industry today. Some are decent. Some are not. And while many of these bands aren’t worth a second glance, there are still some that should be a lot more popular than they are. One such band that should be a lot more popular is 800 Octane.

800 Octane is a band of musicians who make their home in the Portland, Oregon area. The punk rock band consists of Dave on Bass/Vocals, Eric on Guitar, Justin on Guitar/Vocals, and Dustin on Drums. Together, they form a group that still findes the need to create strong Rock and Roll with plenty of life to it. 

The band has recently celebrated 15 years together as a band. In that amount of time, they have amassed a catalog of nine releases, many of which are 4 or 5 song demos. In 2008, 800 Octane released their current album entitled “Requiem”. Although 800 Octane put their latest release of “Requiem” out on the small Indie label of New School Records, that doesn’t matter as “Requiem” is a strong album that needs to be exposed to as many music lovers as possible.

While 800 Octane is classified as punk rock, the band’s sound on “Requiem” alternates between the modern style of bands like Bad Religion and The Hives, to the harder style that you would find with bands like The Dead Kennedys, Naked Raygun, even Black Sabbath. At times, the band takes a radio-friendly approach to their music while at other times, some of their songs are right in your face with their extreme intensity.

To keep your music collection from sounding the same, you look for something that separates one group from another. One of the many things that separates 800 Octane from any other punk band that is currently recording and touring is the approach the band takes when they write their songs. When a lot of punk bands focus on anarchy and being somewhat political, the guys in 800 Octane think of each song as a chance to tell a story.

And with 800 Octane having their music containing a bit of a metal style, the band’s choice of writing songs with a horror theme fits perfectly into that particular style. In fact, most of the tracks on “Requiem” are like listening to four-minute horror movies that are set to music. And the subjects that the band has chosen to write about should sound familiar to almost everyone who is a horror movie fanatic:

In the song “Destroy Tokyo,” the band sings about a certain Japanese city that never seems to be able to recover from one monster attack before it gets hit with another. “The Hills Have Eyes” is about going into the desert and feeling like you’re being watched from all directions. And then “Death Race 2000” is about being in a race to the ultimate finish.

The “Requiem” album from 800 Octane is like looking through a horror fan’s DVD collection. And more specifically, the songs included on the album feel as if they could have been part of the same mindset that helped to create such Grindhouse movie classics such as Quinton Taratino’s “Death Proof” or Robert Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror”. 

For the 15 years that 800 Octane has been around, the band has released nine releases. And in 2008, the band released their newest CD of “Requiem”. Part punk with a little bit of metal, and even some humor thrown in, the album features 18 tracks of music that should satisfy any punk lover. The CD even includes a “bonus track” for those looking for more value to their money.

You can find “Requiem” by 800 Octane going to the record label’s website at www.newschoolrecords.com.

To find out more about the band, visit their website at www.800octane.com. You can also find the band on MySpace at www.myspace.com/eighthundredoctane.