House Boat release "The Delaware Octopus"
Over the 13 songs of their debut, The Delaware Octopus, lead vocalist Madden laments his lot in life: being 30 years old, alone, and back in school. It's high energy pop punk with strong '90s leanings, utilizing three-chord arrangements, and frequent harmonizing that is reminiscent of the Teen Idols. Musically, it's saccharine, but with a melancholic woe to lyrics like "There's something I'm clinging to/ but it's not hope/ because there is no hope."
Madden's nasal delivery comes across as a whine that gives the record a heavy-handed feel as he contemplates his life choices. However, the record isn't merely a journal entry about Madden's sorrows, but instead is self-aware and unapologetic as, to close "Dumbmarket Travesty," he proclaims, "I'm just an adolescent retard in disguise...[but]...I wrote this story so I know how it ends." Gontard occasionally takes over vocal duties, and when he does it immediately brings Dear Landlord to mind. His gruff voice is a welcome contrast, bringing a more world-weary tone to the album's recurring pessimism.