Monday, January 24, 2011

Album Review: Apex Manor - The Year of Magical Drinking

The quiet disbanding of The Broken West in 2009 didn't silence principal songwriter and frontman Ross Flournoy for long. With the help of a new home and the uncommon inspiration of an online songwriting contest, his new project Apex Manor was born.

The album The Year of Magical Drinking will sound very similar to Broken West fans. Flournoy's keen ear for great catchy melodies shine continues to shine with the album.

The album rockets through the first four tracks with pop fury, fuzzed out and shimmering guitars soaring. The song takes a sharp turn with the steady drum machine beat, mellow keys and somber melody on "My My Mind."

There is a sense of freedom that the album as a whole evokes, but is very present in the last half of the album. The driving tune "Teenage Blood" comes as close to punk as Flournoy comes. "Elemental Ways of Speaking" swirls in wall of bright guitars and echoing piano.

The otherworldly sounds and high falsetto of "Burn Me Alive" are reminiscent of U2. In the end, the album ends with a bouncy pop song "Coming To," burring the ing album back to where we started, in many ways, completing a musical journey.

The Year of Magical Drinking is a solid 35 minutes of well crafted songs a sorely under appreciated songwriter. Hopefully this album will get him closer where he deserves to be.

The Year of Magical Drinking will be released on January 25 via Merge Records.

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