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Shall Noise Upon

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Album Review

More than 40 years after the Summer of Love, you'd think that all the musical vistas of the lysergic experience would have been covered, but Boston's Apollo Sunshine clearly have something they'd like to tell you after you've taken a close look at the tiny bit of blotter paper they're holding in their collective hand. Their third LP, Shall Noise Upon, is a musically ambitious and eclectic bouillabaisse of pop, folk, indie rock, and unspecified trippiness that joyously celebrates its 21st century variation on the hippie dream of good vibes and stuff that sounds pleasingly messed up. When they're not cheerleading for universal love ("Brotherhood of Death"), calling for the abolition of money in favor of following your bliss ("Money"), and praising the home planet ("Singing to the Earth"), the wide-eyed young men of Apollo Sunshine are layering their clever, hooky little tunes with lots of harmonies, plenty of keyboards, bunches of guitar, and periodic spells of free-form electronic anarchy. It's all a bit like the Flaming Lips with less irony, and the fact that David Fridmann, the Lips' frequent studio confidante, was behind the boards for some of these sessions may have something to do with it, but it's clear that the two bands share a similar mindset — and if anything, Apollo Sunshine have taken psychedelia to heart in a purer and more sincere manner than their Oklahoma peers. However, Shall Noise Upon sometimes suggests these folks were trying too hard to cram as much as possible into 38 minutes of music, and the result is the sonic equivalent of watching a CinemaScope movie without the anamorphic lens — you keep wishing something would spread the information across a broader landscape so you can more readily take it all in. But then again, maybe the chemically enhanced listener will be better prepared to absorb all the color Shall Noise Upon enthusiastically radiates.


Formed: 2001 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Boston neo-psychedelic/indie rock trio Apollo Sunshine take conventional songs and filter them through a pop underground sound that's reminiscent of Georgia's Elephant 6 collective, Cheap Trick, and the Flaming Lips. Comprised of vocalist/bassist/keyboardist Jesse Gallagher, guitarist/vocalist Sam Cohen, and drummer/percussionist Jeremy Black, the group released its debut, Katonah, in 2003 on the Spin Art label, followed by an eponymous sophomore...
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Shall Noise Upon, Apollo Sunshine
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