Hello Ocho bids a fond farewell

After seven years, Atlanta's premier psych rock outfit calls it quits

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Bavarian politician Gabriele Pauli is infamous for campaigning that “marriages expire after seven years." If it’s meant to be, one should re-propose. Hello Ocho, feeling the seven year itch, is following suit and dissolving their musical relationship with the caveat that maybe, someday, they’ll say “I do” once again.

Built on friendship and trust, Hello Ocho started with Clinton Callahan (bass) and Chris Yonker (lead vocals, guitar) stitching together songs out of loops, scattered ideas and computerized chaos. John Gregg (drums) and Chris Childs (percussion) came on board and provided whirlwind beats and scatter shot sounds. The final addition of Christian Shepherd (vocals and keyboard) delivered new lyrical nuances and powerful vocal harmonies.

“It was kind of understood that you would come and dance at the shows,” Yonker says.

“Stickin’ to the Sheets” launched a thousand crowd surfers and will forever remind Nashville fan Tara Nicole of driving and “singing along to a song with my best friend on a warm day with the windows down."

The percussive madness and echoey verses of “Chili Cheese Connie” whipped audiences around a room. And “Party On A Raincloud," with it’s  accompanying NSFW cave dream video, became an anthem for sultry slow dances.

“Hello Ocho is a true Atlanta gem,” says Suzanne Baker. "Their songs and stage presence always bring the weird and the fun. And they are just the cutest!”

On their second and final record, In Portuguese, they moved to expand their musical palette by relying on that mix of weird and fun while still embracing, in the words of superfan Veruca Salt, “Their sexy marriage of silky funk and weird chaos.”

Mammal Gallery co-founder Brian Egan loves that they, “Always make it feel like a group effort . . . We are all somehow part of making it happen, and you can feel that energy when you see them play live.”

For longtime fan Leanna Usher, “Watching Hello Ocho mature musically and personally over the years has been a great ride.”

Expect Mammal Gallery to be packed full of fans new and old, who’ve been sweating it out since the very first Ocho show seven years ago in East Atlanta Village ambassador Greg Meah’s basement.

Salt also described each show like returning “to your favorite book and even though you've read it ten times before, you discover something new.” Atlanta’s music scene may be starting a new chapter, but it’s story will feel the effects of Hello Ocho for a long time.

With Fantasy Guys, Facemajik. $10. 9 p.m. Fri., Jan. 27. Mammal Gallery. 91 Broad St. W.W. www.mammalgallery.com.

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