Portland, Oregon’s Holy Tentacles released their latest 7-song EP, Won’t Be Saved, on August 12, 2016, and celebrated with a show on the same day with Invalids (Topshelf Records), The Hague, Lunch, and Quone at Post 134 (2104 NE Alberta Street).
Formed in 2009, Holy Tentacles has been a mainstay among Portland’s experimental and math music scene, sharing bills with local favorites Bearcubbin’!, Mothertapes, Lee Corey Oswald, Blowout, The Shivas, and Rags & Ribbons, as well as playing at Seattle’s Capitol Hill Block Party, and supporting national acts such as Prawn, Frameworks, Warpaint, and Radiation City.
Often utilizing odd timing, finger tapping, and alternate tunings, the band also recently moved bassist Jon Cozens to guitar for more interplay and texturing with guitarist and songwriter Nicholas Von Pless. Anden Oquendo (from the chamber folk ensemble Ezra Bell) took over bass duties in writing the new album, complementing Chris Forrette’s aggressive percussion.
Over the past few years, Holy Tentacles has been releasing songs in pairs via Bandcamp, and Won’t Be Saved is the band’s first proper release since 2012’s Funky Fantastic, which was released as a Blackberry Hefeweizen beer/album download. The beer associated with Won’t Be Saved will be a Vanilla Oatmeal Pale, brewed in partnership with North Portland nanobrewery Look Long Brewing.
The band’s main influences include American Football, Joggers, Battles, Maps & Atlases, Minus the Bear, and Polyvinyl Records’ entire back catalog. None of this has helped in actually describing the music in general terms, though the most commonly heard is ‘math pop’, and ‘tappy-tappy rhythmic-melodic stuff’.