Day 310: Apex Manor – The Year of Magical Drinking

4 Jan

Under the Gun

I’ve been on a big Wilco kick lately.  It is partly due to having witnessed three of the band’s awesome Chicago shows a few weeks ago, but also because I’m always kind of on a Wilco kick—they’re just that good.  So when I hear music with a sound similar to theirs, stuff that seems like it’s trying to emulate Jeff Tweedy and company, I get a little worried.

Fortunately, Los Angeles’ Ross Flournoy is able to do enough on this record to distinguish himself from the Tweedster.  After one listen to The Year of Magical Drinking, you’ll notice that the lyrics are pretty light and simple, unlike Wilco’s complicated and depressing words.  A record full of songs like “Heavy Metal Drummer” wouldn’t work in Wilco’s case, but Apex Manor pulls it off pretty well.

By no means is this record a masterpiece.  However, it does showcase a fairly young band with a lot of potential. Apex Manor won’t survive by putting out record after record like this, but they do have hope.  All of the key components are definitely evident—if they can manage to do something to distinguish themselves from a ton of other alt-leaning-country bands out there, then look out.

I really want these guys to stick around and put out another album, but I hope they do things a little differently next time around.  They really should try pushing themselves musically, lyrically, or in both respects. Personally, I’m a fan of simple lyrics, so it’d be cool to hear them try and do something a little more complicated with their instruments—whether that means expanding, or getting a little more advanced with the guitars.  Something exciting needs to happen.

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