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CD REVIEW: Apollo Quartet - The Eleventh Hour
By Brian Rutherford - 01/19/2005 - 09:03 PM EST

Artist: Band: Apollo Quartet
Album: The Eleventh Hour
CD Review: Apollo Quartet may not be a juicy band name, but the combined musical innovations featured on their full-length debut, “The Eleventh Hour”, are leaking in emotion and general instrumental awe. Sounding like they’re heading forward in contrast to the normal hoopla that surrounds an Emo act, this Floridian foursome may have me sounding like their manager (if they have one) by the end of this review.

The simple promo pack contained a bio with picture combined on one page (which I can appreciate more than two pieces of paper), and your run-of-the-mill self-produced CD packaging. Their packaging a CD without a sticker label, is normally a sign of audio garbage haplessly thrown together. But it seems all the effort was spent on the long instrumental blends and melodies. The opening foot pedal marches in track one “Cold Hands”, and immediately cold metallic guitar pickings join the forces, leaving only the vocal impression yet to be left. Quickly the vocals wean out just enough to flow with its leader, the music.

Throughout this album, vocals take a back row walk in favor of the music’s catchy rhythms. While I find this approach to be the road less traveled and fresh, I’ll leave it to the rest of you to decide for yourself, which is more captivating.

As for the unfortunate but necessary name-dropping edition of my review, some tracks like the title track three “Eleventh Hour”, where shadows of Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver) are of possible influence. While other tracks like four, “Smoke and Mirrors” and seven “Hell Or High Water“, are better examples of the long-winded Emo cries often heard on Juliana Theory or Brand New. albums. But it's really the Foo Fighters-like edgy guitar-soaked notes that take focus here, branding this effort a raw step in the right direction.

All in all, producer J Robbins (Jets To Brazil, Hey Mercedes) who was at the helm of this solid effort, focused more on the combined swirling power pop of all four members rather than spotlighting the vocals. Apollo Quartet shows promise, with each chord seeming like a bunny trail of distorted proportions, and vocals that only add a seeding compliment to the music. I would certainly entertain the idea of purchasing their new effort should they embark on another journey.

Find out more info on Apollo Quartet at their website. www.apolloquartet.com.


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