Apollo Ghosts: Landmark
For a bunch of Canucks, Apollo Ghosts does Americana like nobody’s business. Their latest offering Landmark, should feature a giant macramé dinosaur or the world’s biggest ball of string because the album is exactly that, a bonafide landmark.
Consider this: it’s my job at Surviving the Golden Age to straight dump on everything. I am the figurative Eeyore to StGA’s Hundred Acre Woods, and it seems every week the santorum that passes across my desk only makes me sigh a little heavier, makes my tail droop lower as I use every ounce of my creative flex to say negative things in a positive way about mediocre artists and records.
That being said, I do not mince words. Landmark, is the best new record I’ve heard this year.
So who are these guys, Apollo Ghosts? Wikipedia tells me they are a band from the North Country, a place called Nanaimo in BC. (For our American audience, that’s means the west coast of Canada.) As the name would imply, this town of some 80,000 inhabitants must be something of a fairy tale to produce such an epic band. I would love to give you some back story concerning the group’s maturity on this, their third album, but no one’s ever heard of them before. So much to my professors’ dismay, I have to use Wiki as a source.
You like surfrock? Or course you do, who doesn’t? Buddy Holly cool in your book? What about Mr. Reed or the Pixies? You can hear it all on Landmark. It doesn’t mean the album is an attempt to recreate Apollo’s favorite records. It’s just there, a progression if you will of America’s most interesting rock over the last fifty years.
Landmark starts off a bit slow, the vibrant strains of the up-tempo, surf-washed melody leads one to immediately assume the direction of the entire record. It is on track 5, “Violet Margaret,” you realize you have made a gross mistake. During the dreamy prelude, you accept it is the typical boy-just-met-girl love song, only it’s sung by a man… from the woman’s p.o.v. Genuis! And at that very moment of discovery the song explodes into a raucous chorus that will bounce around in your head for days.
Just as interest is piqued, the following track rips you in an entirely different direction. So Much Better When You’re Gone,” is the perfect slow fuck song, sentimental, sweet and inspired in the vein of “Pale Blue Eyes.”
Next we’re offered the title track, “Landmark.” It’s a dirty, frenzied ode that will send you back to the glorious days of the late eighties, early nineties before there was a thousand and one genres each containing a kaleidoscope of its own subgenres. Landmark is simple in that it offers you a variety of emotions, song structure/writing, and delivery. The album is a feast at fifteen tracks, it’s both cool and clever, got highs and lows, dark and light, sincerity and the silly; all within an easily digestible, catchy format.
It’s de rigueur in critic circles to describe every sea change and shift an album offers, because most albums only offer some few changes. The audience reasonably expects a play by play for normal albums detailing its tracks. I could do this for Landmark, but it would stretch the word count past your exhaustion. Suffice it to say, Landmark is very, very good. I cannot get more explicit than that.
Surviving the Golden Age got you here first folks. We work hard to deliver scoops like this. Go out and get Landmark before everyone’s going on about it and the music begins to bore you from over-exposure. As far as ratings go, I never give out nines. I just don’t do it. But Apollo Ghosts’ Landmark earns a nine.
MP3: Apollo Ghosts “Violet Margaret”
Apollo Ghosts: Landmark