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Apteka Will Melt Your Face Right Off And You Will Like It

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 28, 2011 8:20PM

2011_10_apteka.jpg We're not 100% certain why Apteka is calling Gargoyle Days their first full length album when it has the same number of tracks as their debut EP in 2009, but when a band is creating music this good they can call it whatever they want. We've listened to the album quite a few times over the last few weeks and it just gets better every time.

Apteka creates aggressive music you can hum along to. They don't quite fit in any easy categorization. The guitars shred and burn as they build up a trembling wall of sound that would enter shoegaze territory were it not so insistent on driving forward instead of draping easily over you. The drums and bass create a rock solid base of support without ever resorting to an easily followed rhythm. It's almost as if the drummer can't stop swallowing Pixie Stix by the caseload and unleashing the resulting jitters all over his rumbling kit. But again, there's a surprising accessibility to this music and we think the point of entry there is probably through the band's appropriation of melodies that please instead of scare. These are songs that, no matter how much they make your skin want to melt into a puddle at your feet you can still hum along to.

The main thing that differentiates this new material from previous releases is the simple fact that at a few points the band actually does slow down to create some quieter tunes. When they do the group's talents are thrown into stark relief and you realize how finely crafted the band's music is. When a band primarily traffics in the big and the loud it's sometimes easy to let volume gloss over sloppiness, but in Apteka's case the quieter passages help you realize that everything they do is detail oriented, and that's why all of their music remains satisfying and blossoms upon repeat listens instead of wearing out its welcome by succumbing to predictability.

The band is playing a live show at The Empty Bottle on Monday, October 31 and it's one we really think you should not miss. Live, the band is incredibly captivating and their music is the kind that when unleashed on a room of living, breathing people expands to fill every available crevice it can find. It's not drowning in sound, exactly; it's more akin to floating in amniotic fluid set on an "agitate" cycle. The shows are often augmented with live projections so you end up feeling disoriented in all the right ways.

Download "Striking Violet" off Gargoyle Days below, and if you dig it, the band's previous EP and 7" are on Bandcamp and can be downloaded for free!

MP3: Apteka "Striking Violet"

Monday, October 31, at The Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western, 9:30 p.m., FREE, 21+