Apollo Junction

In September Leeds quintet ‘Apollo Junction’ unleashed their debut LP Mystery upon us, as they aim to be a staple in the current Indie scene. The album opens ironically with “Begin”, echoing memories of Coventry under achievers Adorable. They use that classic current Indie sound with keys borrowed from 80’s Synth bands. A clear, coherent vocal matched to chiming guitars and simple unfussy hitting – it’s a great opener. “In Your Arms” doffs its cap to early New Order/Joy Division in the bass intro before that layered Indie vocal kicks in. The keys then become the focal point of the song while the Peter Hook-inspired bass in the bridge gives a nod to where their influences lie. Like its predecessor though I feel they could shave sixty seconds off the song to achieve the perfect three-minute epic.

“Paris” has a Funk beat in the background – more club classic than Indie club floor filler. In fact, dancing seems to be the main theme in the chorus. Heartfelt layered vocals throughout, personal and honest but a tad sugary-sweet. “This Could Be the Day” has more than a nod to The Farm’s Groovy Train in the chiming guitar intro. The way the vocal comes in over those chimes is subtle with more layering and overall it recalls Indie underachievers Milltown Brothers. The cymbal-led bridge again gives way to a Hooky bassline before that muffled vocal opens up once more on this upbeat little number.

Apollo Junction

“Born For Now” again (to me) takes influence from Indie’s early 90’s lesser lights – this time The Candyskins. More vocal layering on this Poppy little number. The broad vocal range matches the happy-go-lucky lyrics, it has that all-round Summer Festival vibe. I just wonder if they were listening to Underworld’s “Born Slippy” at the time as the bridge echoes that song, before returning to the classic Pop sound. Staying in The Candyskins camp “All My Life” is more of the same. Another heartfelt and brutally honest love song. Maybe a tad too sugary but the guitar in the bridge saves it somewhat. Clearly autobiographical it ends with an honest subtlety.

“Lost Ones” takes the tempo up a notch with a shimmering guitar intro but once again the subject matter is as before. A very personal song from I’m guessing an ‘outsider’ perspective. More vocal layering and a fadeout ending save the song (for me). “If I Fell” is that classic mid-album/mid-set breather song, it’s pretty nondescript and I can’t decide whether to like or loathe it.

“What Are You Waiting For” thankfully takes the LP in a more Post/Punk direction. There’s more urgency in the vocals while the keys perfectly match the sampled chorus. Eighties Synth/Pop meets Post/Punk – what a wonderful combination and the standout track on here, even if it appears out of place. “Jayne” returns to the personal. Nasal vocalising about a loved one – it’s not your standard love song, more an appreciation of one’s girl, but it’s decent enough and ends sharply. “Always Remember” evokes Hooky’s bass once more on this album closer and remains the main ingredient throughout. It’s Indie/Dance in its core and if ever one was in any doubt who this band take inspiration from then just listen to this track!

Apollo Junction

One cannot fault Apollo Junction’s musicianship, I just feel they are playing with way too many influences this early on. By all means, take influence, but in a crowded market, you need to stand out. While there’s lots going on here and little to dislike, I feel they need to carve a niche for themselves that is more their own. This may happen in time but as a debut, there’s much to like, I just hope there’s more in the tank, we shall see…

Track Listing
In Your Arms
This Could Be the Day
Born For Now
All My Life
Lost Ones
If I Fell
What Are You Waiting For
Always Remember




Review by Ross A. Ferrone.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace