Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Review: Apollo Sunshine - Shall Noise Upon (* * * )

Apollo Sunshine make music for the kind of people who can't or won't sit through a normal album. A loosely connected collection of psychedelic folk-rock songs, Shall Noise Upon is unique, ambitious, and, at times, challenging. If you frequently find yourself growing restless of CDs after only a few songs or becoming tired of all those "boring" rock bands out there, Shall Noise Upon's eclecticism will be a welcome breath of fresh air. For those that prefer more consistency, however, the album might be more trouble than it's worth.

I find myself somewhere in the middle. There are some definite high points. The beatlesque "Money," and "The Mermaid Angeline" are some of the better tracks on the album; simple, low-key, and enjoyable, "Singing to the Earth" is a beautiful pop-folk song that rolls along with male/female harmony and a variety of well-placed instruments, and Apollo Sunshine prove themselves competent when they turn the guitars up a bit and experiment with 60s-style psych-rock on "666."

While Shall Noise Upon delivers some great songs, it is inconsistent, and the album as a whole has an uneven feel that makes it seem longer than the 38 minute running time. A slew of brief, weird interludes and some go-nowhere tracks like "Light of the World," add little to the overall experience and only lengthened the time between the album's strongest tunes. While I appreciate that this record is meant to be digested as a whole, the parts don't completely hold the project together.

Overall, Shall Noise Upon is a fun album and an enjoyable one if you're in the mood for something a little bit more experimental. The ambition and talent of Apollo Sunshine are to be admired, and when they succeed, the results are worth hearing. Though I'm sure some will love this album for its inconsistencies and quirks, the rest of us will browse through it to get to the good stuff.

Favorite Tracks: "Singing to the Earth," "Money," "The Mermaid Angeline"


deb-bot said...

Hey, if you ever do go off the blogspot, you will need to let me know the site.

Did you get to go to the football game last Saturday?