APSE: Climb Up

~ Monday, 31 August 2009
For a band hailing from the States, APSE sound very British. Their sound having more to do with bands like Gomez or Mogwai than anything coming out of America at the moment. I suppose you could call their music post psychedelic ambient rock if you want to label it. Based around the reverb laden vocals of the bands only original member Bobby (no surname, just Bobby), this self produced album is more focused than previous efforts, relying more on the vocals and lyrical content than ever before.

Now, ASPE are not reinventing the wheel. There is nothing contained here that we have not heard before from bands like Soft Machine and Moby Grape, but they do have enough about them to make this album a thoroughly enjoyable affair. What they do do well is creating textures and layers to their music. Opener Blown Doors is a fine example of this. The haunting keyboards adding a depth that underpins the frenzied drums, while Bobby's vocals sound like a cross between Sparks Russell Mael and The Delays Greg Gilbert.

There is nothing on here that you could call radio friendly, but that doesn't matter as you want to keep these guys your own little secret. When a band makes music this good you don't want them to have their heads turned by the evil beast that is the major label. There is something about APSE that is hard to put your finger on. Perhaps it is the fact that the music is completely eclectic. This is how you would imagine Alex Harvey would sound if he had not shuffled of his mortal coil.

This is good music. It needs a little bit of work on the listeners behalf, but the rewards are well worth it. Tracks like Closure, The Age and Lie only improve with each listen, but don't tell your friends. Lets keep these guys our little secret.


[][][][] (4/5)

Listen to APSE: Blown Doors