Written by Larry Robertson, posted by blog admin
Formed by the core trio of Luke Nassar (guitars/vocals), Jeremiah Jensen (drums) and Rodman Steele on bass, Texan indie-groovers Blue Apollo got their start back in the summer of 2014. Nassar and Jensen composed the songs that occupy Light-Footed Hours, Blue Apollo’s official debut release that summer and what began as a home recorded demo turned into a full band within a couple of years and the addition of Steele on bass. The band’s 6-song debut was finally born into the world and released in the summer of 2017.
What we have here is a very ranged and dynamic collection of tunes that somehow feels unified at the same time. Maybe the circumstances in which the original demos were recorded influenced how the project later came together, I’m not sure, but these songs feel like they belong together regardless. “Walls” is the foundation kicking opener that relies on heady, heavy drumming that lay down a bubbling afro-beat centered on the toms while twanging, crystalline riffs cascade over beefed up bass lines; all the while Nassar gets to the heart of the lyric with melodically affecting vocals. Slight keyboard brushstrokes, clavinet and electronic beats only enhance the music and never overtake it as at the heart of the maelstrom lay a real deal, organic rock band. The poppy influences and surreal song craft are paired to unusually hard backbeats, quirky time signature shifts, scalding electric lead guitar zooms and moments of roaring indie chords that always delve into the tasteful and never the tasteless. This is pop rock with some backbone and it’s rendered with some power since it possesses an attack element besides the obvious melodic commodities.
The band’s knack for good tune composition and sonically pleasing arrangements is a track to track development; “Feeling Right” delegating the guitars and bass to playful funk and rock as the rhythm section embellishes a blue-eyed soul groove topped off with some synthesizer and Hammond organ depth, “Therapy” centering itself on a guitar/piano pop punk attack (further explored in closer “Circles”), “Avalanche” setting itself up as a soundtrack piece with powerhouse vocals from Nassar and a triumphant piano leading the charge all the way to a blaring rock n’ roll bulrush and “Meant to Be” achieving the same cinematic scope while swapping piano for guitar and a rich symphonic string section. There’s nary a dud or dull moment and for every movement of hard-rock and indie pop in the perfect marriage of harmony, they have just as many matching movements of bewildering experimentation.
Light-Footed Hours is an EP chockfull of catchy, cogent tunes that are best experienced as a first to last song, uninterrupted listen. Blue Apollo manages to sound modern and classic in the same breath. With a new EP planned for 2018 and a fourth member added to permanently handle strings, piano, keyboards, etc., there’s no doubt that the future is big and bright for Blue Apollo.