A batch of recently released Madison rock albums have reached back to 1970s prog for their inspiration. Apollo14 is a new local trio whose full-length debut is influenced by a different era: 1990s alternative.
This ambitious set of 17 songs shifts between scruffy electric guitar pop and moody grunge. The pop tracks reveal Apollo14's formidable melodies. "No Chance" is an easygoing, mid-tempo song that pokes fun at the quarrels of love in the catchiest of ways. "You need to reassess all the things you like to say," sings lead vocalist Mike Kasianowicz. "Some are mean."
"Calm Down" adds sonic dissonance and lyrical humor that's akin to Ben Folds. "Why did you want to get another cat? It meows all night, and I'm not cool with that." The angst of grunge heats up on "Patronize," which finds Kasianowicz sounding a lot like late Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley.
The 1990s template is sometimes overbearing. Still, Apollo14's promise is its knack for catchy melodies and a personality that's just as irresistible.