red lights


Mixture of dreamy dissonance

The Apparitions - As This Is Futuristic
(Machine Records)
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Mar. 9, 2006
The Apparitions

Review by Andy Argyrakis

Since spring 2003, the Lexington, Kentucky-based The Apparitions have been riding the indie rock wave to impressive heights. Whether sharing stages with the likes of The Features, Cat Power, The Standard and Califone, earning rave reviews for their official debut disc Oxygen Think Tank or landing in several soundtrack spots on various MTV programs, the quintet possesses many magnetically attractive qualities. Maybe it's the unpredictable combination of two vocalists or perhaps it stems from a stylistic merging of The Pixies and The Flaming Lips. But whatever the reason for the gravitation point, the guys continue to spread their wings via the brand new As This Is Futuristic on Chicago's Machine Records.

The disc is a mixture of dreamy dissonance, meaty melodies, bizarre storytelling and delightful hooks tied loosely together by a free spirited demeanor. One moment the material will sound like retro power pop at its finest (such as the Cheap Trick tipped "Electricity +Drums" and then migrate towards gruff psychedelic guitars (throughout the oddly named "Arrhythmia." The powerhouse Pixies motif is most noticeably manifested throughout "God Monkey Robot," while the atmospheric love for the Lips is evident throughout the glowing "She Burned Out Their Eyes."

Although many of those tracks are extremely artful and will carve a niche on the underground, the disc also possesses commercial elements worthy of radio play. "Shapeshifters" has a harmony heavy chorus sure to stick in listeners' heads and "Motor Skills" is one of the most raucous rockers to come out of any garage in the last half decade. It's this chameleon-like approach that somehow still comes across as cohesive and makes The Apparitions a meaningful prospect in a year sure to be peppered with multiple musical choices.

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