Columbia College Chicago’s very own record label, AEMMP Records, released Audiences and Apollo House, a split EP by two bands well known in their root-city, Chicago. Obviously, the affair has stirred excitement among the music-loving community in the Windy City.
Audiences and Apollo House don’t disappoint, especially in the opening track, “Missouri.” The vocals are outstandingly piercing, almost yodel-like, in timbre. This, combined with Audiences’ garage rock feel, has married two genres that one would only think possible during the apocalypse. It would appear that a little folk, even in garage-noise, never hurt.
A homegrown group ought to have a natural, homegrown sound. It’s a fact of life, a law of science, divine commandment from the Muses, and common sense.
However, the folly of many artists is committed numerous times on the split. For the most part, all six of the tracks open well: they hook the listener, the lines flow nicely, and the punctuation from the heavy bass line and the wailing of the guitar mix almost flawlessly in a well-spiced gumbo of sound. Yet, the tracks are laboriously long and end up repeating a drum rhythm loop with an uninspired guitar solo. The antics that Audiences revels in are tired, but the devotion to its influences from the past merits respect.
Audiences can play it slow, too. “Sisters” and “No More” highlight the group’s ability to maintain that heavy noise-cloud, but let the listener take a breather from the rush that typically characterizes the genre. The latter track even features a funk groove in the bass line that demonstrates Audiences’ versatility and talent and adds another facet to this small musical gem.
Unfortunately, the EP can only give a glimpse of the raw velocity and sheer power of Apollo House. It may just be imagination, but tracks like “Fugitive” and “Wolf in Sheep Skin” could only logically become awe-inspiring power ballads of intense force in a live venue.
Even from small speakers, the two tracks make you want to rock hard. There’s nothing like the animal-like rush that comes from head-banging too hard (if there is such a thing) to a song that elegantly kicks ass. Apollo House commands harsher energy and has crafted its half of the split in a way that seamlessly combines with Audiences, but brings the EP a few more hairs on the ‘stache rating with its more succinct sound and greater grasp on the noise rock vibe.
Audiences and Apollo House may both appeal to small group of the music community. The often overbearing sound infuses so many genres of musical influence and appeals to each person’s sense of authenticity. You may not listen to it every day, or even more than once or twice a year, but these little bands from big ol’ Chicago pack a punch.
Audiences and Apollo House – Split EP tracklist:
- Audiences – “Missouri”
- Audiences – “Tell Me”
- Audiences – “Sisters”
- Apollo House – “Fugitive”
- Apollo House – “No More”
- Apollo House – “Wolf in Sheep Skin”