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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grrrr...ATE!, May 6, 2005
By 
Jason Wendleton (Denver, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Katonah (Audio CD)
Apollo Sunshine has quickly become my new favorite band. After listening to the bands new Ep, I decided to peer back through the mists of time and give the bands previous album a look see. Boy am I glad I did. The electrically charged "Katonah" opens the record like a robotic lullaby. Most of the time instrumentals put me to sleep, this one left me in awe. Brilliant keyboards. The muli-textured, and amazingly deep "Fear of Heights" follows. So much goes on in this song, that to describe it all would take me all day (and night). Let's just say that this song, like all the others on this album, are like stories-they all have complex beginings, middles, and endings. Song structure is a big deal for these boys. My favorite moment of the record happens in the middle of this song...where it seems the song (which has slowed considerably) is over-after a long pause the listener gets kicks his/her ass kicked but a screaming reprise. Awesome keyboard/organ solo's follow.

"I Was On The Moon" the closest this indie record has to a "single," is a brilliant-almost McCartney-esque rocker. While it's bouyant and happy, the dark lyrics reveal a nearly abandonded, modern childhood. Some really great guitar moments and catchy-as-a-cold chorus make this one a winner. Apollo Sunshine reminds me of The Shins (though not as somber). If you like The Shins, you'll eat this album up (with a spoon). The harder song "Happening" and the poppy "The Egg" deserve to be framed and hung on a wall. This is art rock without the prissy froo-froo.

Apollo Sunshine need your support, because this kind of brilliant, energetic music just doesn't pay the bills. It will never be accepted the way it probably should be. At best, this band could be another Shins (indie critic flavors of the month). More than likely they'll put out one more album, and then give up. And that's a damn shame. In this dreary age of whitewashed corporate rock, the world could use more Sunshine.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars overlooked gem, June 14, 2004
By 
This review is from: Katonah (Audio CD)
I revisited this album this weekend on a little excursion that took me up US Route 11 through some scenic countrysides and quaint little Main Street-style towns. After owning it for about five or six months and listening to it only about a half-dozen times (mostly in the first month of ownership) I had forgotten about it completely. I was scrambling through my CD book while driving, and I didn't want to endanger my life, so I grabbed something from the first page (nerdily alphabetized, mind you) and popped it in.
I suddenly remembered why I bought it in the first place. My day instantly became sunnier, my mood lifted, and my hands rocked out on the steering wheel. It's easy to compare bands to other bands when describing them, but I do that too much, so I'll tell you folks why I like this album and why I think people should buy it.
First of all, this band is just a three-piece. You'd never know by their big sound. Sometimes poppy, sometimes loud and fuzzy, this is a very "polyphonic" band (that's not a hint about who they may sound like, it's a real description.) The lyrics are surprisingly clever and the melodies are very addictive. This band relies on some electronic and non-traditional rock instruments, such as bells and moogs, and they somehow bring it all together in a very slick and flawless production.
I had never heard of this band until I caught them on a streaming internet radio station, and at that time I heard "Happening." I was expecting a fast and noisy band in the vein of the Thermals, but after hearing the rest of the album, I see that I was mistaken. Sure, they can really give you a swift kick to the bottom with some of their killer riffs (whatever that means) but at the core of this album is a few young guys who are very serious about their music, and who have delivered big-time on this one.
I'm glad I was driving and unable to see what I was reaching for, or this baby would have slipped through the cracks. And since it's available used right now, I can guarantee that this'll be the best $3.49 you've ever spent.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soak in the positive vibes from this exciting debut, October 14, 2003
This review is from: Katonah (Audio CD)
Be on the look out for this fine trio from Beantown, they have just released the most eccentric and fascinating debut of 2003. If your tired of the retread punk/garage rockers getting pumped out of NYC then these guys are the answer. The album flows together with such a consistent positive vibe that you can listen to this disc several times in one sitting. The songs are especially catchy and the wall of sound is amazing. Although I hate to compare them to anyone as they have a sound all their own, just for reference I think if your into pavement, the flaming lips or the super furry animals to name a few then you definitely will appreciate the music on this album.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut by Apollo Sunshine, October 7, 2003
This review is from: Katonah (Audio CD)
Local Boston band Apollo Sunshine's first EP "Katonah," aptly named for the town in new york they recorded their first demos in, is a great debut for a band who's popularity seems to get exponentially larger wherever they play. True, there is no comparison to their live show (they once handed out 200 pieces of bazooka gum so their fans could chew along with the beat) this album is a decent representation of the energy their brand of unique, eclectic, psychadelic pop tries to create. None of the tracks drag on the album, and are polished versions of the songs that have made their live shows famous. Bright spots on the album include "I was on the Moon," "Blood is wood," and the incredibly goofy "Hot Air Balloon," which includes a catchy melody and lots of crazy sound effects in the background. It appears that apollo sunshine has nowhere to go but up from here!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best I've Heard all Year!, March 22, 2005
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Katonah (Audio CD)
These guys first caught my attention when they came through Detroit opening for Hot Hot Heat 2 years ago. Also on the bill was the Starlight Mints, another pop-rockatoonish band worth a listen.

Anyway, I was blown away. Smart, a little nutters, and obvious musical geniouses, They didn't even have a CD then, but they were already stuck in my mind.

I finally caught Katonah when they swung through Ann Arbor last year, a few weeks before their appearance on Carson Daly's show. It outdid my expectations. Garage rock has had its day. It's Bathroom Rock's time now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truely the best record I've heard in the last 6 months!, July 13, 2004
By 
This review is from: Katonah (Audio CD)
I heard "I was on the Moon" on the radio here in San Jose, and thought OK here's a new happy Pop-band that's all about blasting out infecteous choruses in cookie-cutter fasion...great... add another tuna to the over-crowded pond. It wasn't untill about the 3rd time I heard the song that I realized there were elements in its soundscape and arrangement that were rather slyishly brilliant. This band was onto something new. The same can be said for all the songs on this record! Its multi-diminsional arrangement, songwriting, and soundscape all combine to give us the listeners something different to latch onto with every listen, but it never loses its focus. You walk away remembering every catchy line, but never feel hollow or guilty for loving it because on the inside there's substanance and musicallity. I can't wait for these guys to come back to San Jose, its the most inspiration I've felt for new music in ages.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid album that delivers., October 4, 2004
This review is from: Katonah (Audio CD)
The album opens up with catchy keyboards and quickly hits a peak, then decends into a chaos that hints at things to come. Quite the opening track. This flows easily into the second song, Fear of Heights. This is the first real songs, it has catchy riffs that hint at 60's surf pop while never quite leaving the realm of pure chaos. These Bostonian lads have put together a happy collection of pure joy. I could go into the specifics of each song, but I'd be suprised if you've even read this far, so I'll make a new paragraph and give a general outline.

They are very together and quite happy popish trio whose music takes the catchy, reverby twang of 60's surf guitar and attacks it with brutal Flaming Lips-esque chaos. Quite the debut, I look foward to their follow-up.

Also, if you can, GO SEE THEM LIVE. They are AMAZING.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best of 2003, February 19, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Katonah (Audio CD)
What an album! This is one you don't have to skip any tracks on. Their songwriting is definitely not traditional, but every song has it's own unique structure that works. There's a lot you could pick out of this album, like they don't overuse any gimmicks and god knows how three guys do everything you hear, but the most important thing is that it is a great, listenable, upbeat album. Think Flaming Lips' Yoshimi but more upbeat. At a time when it seams the best music out there has a darker feel and most happy music is crap, this album is very refreshing. Give it a try!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Good, July 13, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Katonah (Audio CD)
Very good album. Upbeat psychedelic pop songs made by good people with a great live show. "Fear of Heights", "I Was On The Moon", and "The Egg" stand out. Buy this album if only for the sole purpose of keeping these guys off the streets.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Utopia for the 21st century?, May 11, 2004
By 
This review is from: Katonah (Audio CD)
The one band that this wonderful trio most reminds me of, and I've never read anyone else make the comparison, is Utopia. The sound palette rivals anything Todd Rundgren's offered in the past 20 years at least, and there's an unmistakable Utopian eclecticism and instrumental prowess. It's a weird and wonderful collision of indie-pop, prog-rock, power-pop, Beatlesque joy, aggressive post-punk, beautiful harmonies and sunshiney vibes...but it somehow all melds into a harmonious whole. I don't know how they do it. The songs take outrageous sharp turns that are fascinating. I first saw Apollo Sunshine when they opened for another band at the Mercury Lounge...I'd never heard of them and their record wasn't out yet but from that night on it was my mission to hear them again.

If you like any of the styles I mentioned above, check this album out--and try to see them live.

ETA: Unfortunately, their subsequent records sound nothing like this one and this is the only AS album I like--but I still like it a lot.
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Katonah
Katonah by Apollo Sunshine (Audio CD - 2003)
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