Blue Apollo - Light Footed Hours + Circles (2017)

Written by David Shouse, posted by blog admin

This immediately affecting alternative band from Dallas, Texas lays down 6 catchy cuts on their debut studio recording Light-Footed Hours.  Combining rock, punk, pop, emo and even styles outside of rock, Blue Apollo is a power trio that puts some gusto into their songs.  They turn each track into a sing-a-long anthem with alternately melodic and crisp, crunchy guitars, steady drumming, a little touch of keyboards on opener “Walls” during its midsection break and thick grooving bass lines.  This jam sets the tone and the indie guitar shimmer is bolstered by punk-tempered snare work and a lot of upbeat melodies happening.  Vocalist/guitarist Luke Nassar commands his voice from a higher register and smooth bursts of falsetto are among several well-controlled tactics that he utilizes to instantly ingrain the song into the listener’s psyche. 

“Feeling Right” agilely dances across a mid-tempo pulse with Rodman Steele’s funky bass lines, soulful guitar licks that merge funk to reggae to soul and a real blue-eyed vocal performance from Nassar molds and crafts this composition into a melodic behemoth that is the perfect crisscross between the 70s and modern indie.  The jangly guitars pick up the pace into some good time melody riffs on EP standout “Therapy” and its lyrical heartbreak which speaks to moving on in relationships.  A rhythmic push/pull provides a solid, locked-on pocket that never eschews a good groove for too much flash though drummer Jeremiah Jensen is well-suited to numerous beat fluctuations including punchy kick drum patterns, atmospheric cymbal splashing and taut snare fills.  These many percussive elements provide some good cues for the guitar work to change from up-tempo indie-riff rock to spacious cascades of cosmic melody. 

A gorgeous, ever-flowing piano melody duets gorgeously with Luke’s tender vocals in the opening build-up of “Avalanche,” the EP’s standout ballad and centerpiece track; slowly adding extra instruments like cello, sleight of hand drumming and breezy guitar work as the music progresses and unfold.  Eventually some melodic rocking ends this cut with a tidal rush of emotions that seamlessly overflows into the acoustic guitar and gentle vocal balladry of like-minded track “Meant to Be.”  It’s a sugar sweet and sensitive couplet of tunes that careens into the lively bonus track “Circles.”  Here the rocking and rolling tom drum patterns provide a constant, consistent throb to a tune with hook-y electric riffing and melody intensive keyboard sweeps giving the track a simultaneously tender and energetic edge.  Some of the bending notes of Nassar’s riffage even tap into subtle blues and r & b influences that loan Blue Apollo some much needed identity when stacked up against any possible peers.   

Blue Apollo offer up nothing but winners on Light-Footed Hours.  Thanks to epic and expansive songwriting when it comes to the style, great vocals and a tight rhythm section they get their point across on each individual song and prove that they are capable of multiple different musical styles (sometimes several over the course of a single song).  Anyone that likes alternative and indie rock from the last 15-20 years should get a lot out of this EP.