Apse - Spirit
- Manufacturer: Acuarela
- Net Price: €9.27 €11.40
After releasing a EP of 6 songs on Acuarela the past year, this quintet - with residence between Boston and New York- returns with a work that seems to have been recorded with a knife between the teeth. Direct, intense, tribal, cathartic and even hallucinogen, “Spirit” strikes with the force of a band which handles masterly the ingredients of the most unorthodox post-rock, late post-punk and, of course, psychedelia in ten songs which do not leave any doubts: this is one of the debuts of 2006.
APSE consist of five lads from the East Coast who have been playing together –with slight changes in line-up- during the last 7 years, creating one of the most serious and inspired sounds today: the nerve of slowcore, bits of post-rock dynamics and avant-garde perceptions; beauty, darkness and tension. They showcase a solid, potent and mature musical sense with influences spanning Classical compositions, Slint, Joy Division/New Order, and The Cure– to the first Sonic Youth noise adventures, ambient music and a wide range of post-punk. In 2005 they released “S/T” (or “Apse”, as some people call it), an EP/mini-album, 34 minutes in length. It more then demonstrated their brilliance: Sonic whirlwinds that begin with a spasm, accelerate to the rhythm of nervous drums trotting around an arpeggio, tie themselves round high-pitched guitars, spin round golden melodies and agonise after a final sound explosion. That’s what “Leer”, the first song on the release was like.
And although this formula was not repeated in the remaining five songs we can say it exemplified Apse’s nonconformist approach to composing music. On the upcoming release of Spirit, Apse have opted-out of everything we thought we knew about what to do in writing independent rock music in 2006. Where the “S/T” Ep was often associated with genre-anchoring terms and identifiers such as 'post-rock' or 'ambient', we find the band charting entirely fresh musical territory. They have shed the 'post-rock' catchall, and have created something that leaves those who have seen their live performances in a state of warm catharsis, astonished and bewildered all at once. Upon listening to the record, none of the band's influences are immediately clear. Spirit absorbs the listener in rough, bold percussion and dark, churning basslines, arguably referencing The Liars' 2006 Drum's Not Dead or the locking cyclical rhythm of early Echo And The Bunnymen. Over a hard-hitting bass-and-drum core, ethereal guitars, haunting vocals, and quiet synths nod to the Cure's Pornography, Disintegration, or B-Sides from Radiohead's Kid A. Spirit leads the listener through it's
multi-percussional swamplands, plodding bass riffs, and alien melodies - both bittersweet and empowering. It is chock full of post-punk's disjointed rhythms, rough guitar passages and tribal stomp. Layers of tone and hand percussion top it all off, creating a beautifully produced
record that a damaged pop odyssey as much as it is a breathtaking wall-of-sound. Spirit is one of the most astounding and unique records of this year.
2. >From the North
4. Shades of the Moor - mp3
6. The Crowned
7. Wind Through the Walls
8. Blackwood Gates
9. Earth Covers Us