With a name like Sad Little Men you'd half expect this band to be made up of pensioners in walkers playing big band songs. Well if you expected something like that you'd be wrong. Instead Sad Little Men is actually a dynamic duo consisting of Dusty York and Justin Roberts and judging by the music that they play I doubt either of them are pensioners or even older than 40. Their album I'll Be the Octopus is an obtuse post indie record of jagged delights.
With a minimal use of instrumentation and an odd way of using it, Sad Little Men don't necessarily have an obvious pop sensibility about them. I'll Be the Octopus is a bumpy ride that takes the sparse use of drums, guitar and piano and attempts something greater than the sum of their parts. At times Sad Little Men succeed and plough through songs in a turbulent manner while at other times the songs seem to just float on by without much ruckus. I have to admit that more than once I found myself on track nine or ten without even realizing that the album was almost over.
By being a power duo with a different approach and letting Dusty York's warbling vocals take center stage the band, when they choose to, come up with some truly unique takes on indie. It's all a bit mathy at times and almost a bit too choppy to hold your attention but by applying some sort of formulae to the methodology the band reel you in. As mentioned before, it works most of the time, but some of the songs just need one or two extra elements to keep them interesting and grab your attention; it’s perfect spot for a third player. For the most part though, I'll Be the Octopus is a decent record that bashes its way through the track list. A different take on post-grunge, and far from sad, Sad Little Men's I'll Be the Octopus is an example of how minimalism can sound larger than life and succeed.