With Wolstenholme's keyboards pushed back in the mix, and strangely missing the harmonies that enriched their earlier work, Octoberon is something of a departure for the band. While Wolstenholme's stately "Ra" shows a dabbling in mysticism and the soaring sound of their previous work, most of the album is a strangely glum affair. John Lees adopts a pub rock sound in his compositions, although "May Day" manages to veer unexpectedly into a glorious choral and organ arrangement. "Polk Street Rag," despite its name, is a slick rocker about a sordid X-rated movie house in San Francisco. There's a black humor throughout, as in this brutally funny line from "Suicide?": "Heard a voice shouting 'Don't jump, please for God's sake let me move my car.'" Not up to the level of their best work, but worth a listen for fans.
AllMusic Review by Paul Collins