Monday, 17 August 2009

FREE ILLINOISE

I must admit to a disservice. Quite unfairly, I've been keeping the latest free music from Chicago's Apteka all to myself for a couple of months now. Unintentional but a disservice nonetheless.

The band released their free tour EP - which actually comprises 9 songs......even with the term album in a state of flux these days, EP seems like a glaring understatement - early in June. An intriguingly addictive blend of soaring vocals, dynamic guitars, and the occasional swirling wall of noise when every member of the four piece powers in, Apteka come close to being the unfeasibly attractive offspring of Jane's Addiction and 90's shoegaze pioneers Ride.

Opener
The Sheet showcases their many qualities, all urgent riffs and majestic high notes. Elsewhere the dissonance is favoured as the weapon of choice, with She Is Riots pounding away from the first note yet retaining more restrained sections to emphasise the noise. The band is even willing to abandon power altogether and, on a track like Where You Sleep, allow the music to simply shimmer and shine on the strength of melody alone.

MP3(s): Apteka - Tour EP

Whilst not qualifying as revolutionary - I'm sure this isn't the first time anyone with even a passing familiarity of either shoegaze or post-rock has come across the 'quiet/loud' dynamic - the music is knit together so well that it deserves the praise. The higher pitch of the vocals offers something a little different from the more standard moping of some forebears and the musicianship is adventurous enough to keep one interested across the full 9 tracks.

There isn't a great deal of information hinting at current recording activity on Apteka's Myspace but lucky Chicagoans (I was there last week.....lovely place) can catch the band once summer departs on September 24th, playing the horror movie sounding Darkroom. The rest of us will have to make do with a full set of supremely addictive free songs for the time being.........oh cruel world.

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