FRIDAY, AUGUST 08, 2008 |
Nostalgia can sometimes be a good thing, especially for an era of happiness, harmony and love. Certainly a good reference point for a band to point to, especially one as well versed in pyschedelics and near-comical throwback songwriting. Thus Apollo Sunshine succeed and fail at the same time: here is an album of music we already knew we loved, but don't need to survive. It's good music and well written, it's fun to listen to, but it's nothing that the children of the 60's didn't already dream about.
That being said, the masterful use of a variety of instruments and the addition of a full time bongo drummer make the levels of each song top each other in trippy ways. They've expanded their palettes from the last self-titled, branching out and exploring the corners of their sound (or more accurately, the sound of several different famous acts of the late 60's and early 70's). The problem is that the band is best when it starts to progress past this fixation on the past, and the real Apollo, the one who will eventually write an album of original sounding material, will emerge. "Funky Chamberlain" and "The Coming of The New World Government" sizzle, but only because they're frying in a vat of Beatles juice. "Brotherhood of Death" sounds like a progression, but it's the only song of it's kind on the record. "Money" is also a delightful romp, where the vocals don't sound imitative or forced, and the band's playfulness jumps up and down gleefully. "Breeze" is such a strong opener as well, it's a shame most of the album fluctuates between Apollo Sunshine shining of their own accord, and simply reflecting the lens of others before them.
At the end of the day, Shall Noise Upon is a good pysch-rock record, it just doesn't break any records or take too many risks, but it does go well with hallucinogens and/or visual stimulation. -joe puglisi