With both a cute name (Things That Are Safe to Throw/Things That Are Not Safe to Throw) and a neat packaging gimmick (each CD case contains a surprise goodie), the new indie release by D.C./Baltimore outfit Octopus is a success in marketing terms alone. Added bonus: The music’s great, too. While Octopus’ tense songs owe a palpable debt to the harDCore sound (not surprising, since two members have toured with local punk godhead John Stabb), the tunes are also refreshingly melodic: Singer Charles Jamison’s aching vocals give “Souvenir” a melancholy weight, while the thrumming guitars of “Mercury” and “Crystal Meth” mix the choralizing with a smart, spare punk assault. Furthermore, since drummer David Andler owns the label that Things is released on, you DIY types can rest assured that this is the real thing. Contact Morphius Records, P.O. Box 13474, Baltimore, MD 21203-3474.