Written by Daniel Boyer, posted by blog admin
With music to match the EP’s cover (a girl’s face with eyes closed surrounded by the infinite cosmos), Dallas three-piece Blue Apollo dig into spacey, gracious textures and serene melodies that collide head-on with rock n’ roll brawn on their debut, Light-Footed Hours. It’s a delicious difference split of sound with some pop-vocal hooks, surprisingly complex instrumental threading and tougher movements that leave behind a memorable impact.
“Walls” kicks the EP off with Jeremiah Jensen’s big sound that practically throttles the toms while peppering the mixture with monster cymbal crashes and agile rim playing. As his performance slips in more volume and rhythmic trip-outs, Luke Nassar colors in the gray space around the beat with head swimming melody chords blanketed in low-end warmth thanks to Rodman Steele’s prominent bass swagger. The track works up a good head of steam, seemingly getting louder by the minute, until releasing all of its pent-up energy into a semi-progressive indie hard rock jam. One moment the instruments will dip out and allow Nassar’s emotive voice take center stage and the next the band will lock onto a groove like a homing missile that ultimately explodes with crashing crescendos of epic soundscaping. Subtle touches of keyboard mimics a clavinet and is probably the reason that the trio added a fourth member to handle all of the group’s various auxiliary instruments. A superlatively rocking and careening lead topped off by a smacking snare-fill sends the tune hurtling towards a whirling, oscillating and truly exciting finale.
“Feeling Right” is all about the groove and Nassar sips his guitar melodies from the tropics with some flamenco/funk/reggae flourishes that wouldn’t be out of place on a Sublime record (albeit more subdued than Nowell and company would mess with). Ragtime piano maintains a lively atmosphere and the stop/start bass lines also toy with funk as the mix between straight timekeeping and syncopated jabs sprinkle some jazz into Jensen’s drumming. Pitching yet another curveball, “Therapy” repeats its main guitar lick akin to a mantra and by doing so it becomes permanently ingrained in its audience’s memory. It’s a cool amalgamation between pop punk’s instant immediacy and indie rock’s mind wandering charms. Luke’s voice carves wonderful verse and chorus hooks as his guitar trades-off between being a lead instrument and a backing one. A few craggy, jagged drum fills and scorching guitar licks give this piece an occasionally aggressive bite that fluidly transitions into the song’s more sugar sweet ideals.
Album centerpiece “Avalanche” throws in the kitchen sink and everything else it can find into a sprawling piece that begins as just picturesque melodic singing and melancholic piano beauty. Cellos, violin and a filled-out string section encompass a vast array of influences that unexpectedly sees the entire band joining in with smashing percussion (heavy on the crashing symbols), rubber burning guitar peel-outs, soul screaming blues guitar licks and quaking low-end grooves. “Meant to Be” is mostly based upon Luke’s stunning lead vocals, his acoustic guitars and the return of an exotic string section, though it doesn’t forget to include a rock n’ roll finish for good measure. The EP’s final cut and the band’s most recent single “Circles” mingles never-ending, kinetic tom-tom rolls, piano majesty and ringing melodic chords into a penultimate track that couldn’t have been a better closer; cementing Light-Footed Hours into a sweeping indie-rock release that pulls out all of the stops and succeeds at every single turn.