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Smash the Octopus!

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Album Review

Call it "minority metal" or maybe "gonzo metal," the musical creations of San Francisco's Flattbush bring a chaotic blend of speed metal, hardcore, and aspects of Philippine culture to their 2003 debut album, Smash the Octopus. Musically, it quickly becomes evident that Flattbush owes much to the chaotic freakouts of Mike Patton-fronted outfits like Mr. Bungle and Fantômas (former Patton associate and Faith No More bassist Bill Gould actually produced this album) and, to a lesser extent, math-metallers like the Dillinger Escape Plan (only looser and less meticulously conceived). Lyrically, the band's incendiary political diatribes and multinational, multiethnic social awareness peg them as spiritual cousins to fellow immigrant-composed groups like System of a Down and Rage Against the Machine — but Flattbush is as likely to sing their lyrics in English as in the Tagalog and Kapampangan dialects. Splattered together, all of the above alternately sound like Napalm Death gone world music ("Better Off Dead"), the aforementioned Patton projects ("Question Authority," "Napalm," "Expose and Oppose," etc.), or simply Agnostic Front sung in Martian ("Batas Militar [Salvaged Style]," "GMA Is a US-SOB," etc.). The bass playing is particularly mind-blowing, but the whole is still a tad too self-consciously bizarre to actually coalesce into very many identifiable tunes. Still, for sheer outrageous invention, Smash the Octopus makes for a challenging listen — think Captain Beefheart from Hell and enter at your own risk.

Customer Reviews

like a baton to the jugular

Whether you understand the lyrics or not, flattbush is a force to be reckoned with! It is like listening to a death by firing squad. Consider yourself honored if you have seen them perform live.

smash the octopus!

Smash the Octopus! is a great song. Question Authority is pretty good too.


Genre: Rock

Years Active:

Taking their name from an obscure 1960s Filipino band that is rumored to have been murdered by the Marcos dictatorship for their insurrectionist beliefs (so the story goes, anyway), spazz-metal outfit Flattbush was formed in the late '90s -- just a few years after Philippine transplants Enriko (vocals) and Arman Maniago (bass) moved to southern California. After six years of strategic advances within the metal underground, Flattbush also featured Americans Brad Walther (guitar) and Ray Banda (drums)...
Full Bio
Smash the Octopus!, Flattbush
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: Jan 01, 2003

Customer Ratings