Album Review: SeepeopleS – Apocalypse Cow Vol. II (Unsigned)


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MP3: Seepeoples – The Most Famous One

The fourth album from SeepeopleS, and the follow up to 2008’s Apocalypse Cow Vol. I, finds them returning to their roots and exploring that narrow chasm between rock and electronica.  It is a tricky area to navigate, and many a band before has wandered into this neither-region only to find themselves with an album of half-baked musical ideas that seem to fall flat, never quite taking hold.  SeepeopleS have emerged from their exploration of this potentially dangerous area with Apocalypse Cow Vol. II in tow, a lush soundtrack of dreamy sonic landscapes that perfectly straddle that narrow gap. It also finds the band getting back to what made their sophomore album (The Corn Syrup Conspiracy) such a glorious guilty pleasure of swirling power-pop.

Apocalypse Cow Vol. II picks up where Vol. I left off.  Lyrically, it follows in much the same vein as its predecessor, with principle songwriter Will Bradford exploring a darker side of life.  A life confused by the hardships we see every day.  “But when I try to comprehend the meanings of anything / I guess I never thought life could be so hard, ” sings Bradford on “These Games.”  As recognition of these hardships, the band is allowing the album to be downloaded for free from their website for what they call a “musical financial bailout,” at least until its proper release in Spring 2010.

Musically, the album enlarges on the ideas and concepts that Bradford first hinted at on Vol. 1: namely a combination of dense electronica, blasts of jangly guitar balanced by lilting melodies, and delicate keyboard work.  The band also toys with both ends of the tempo spectrum, moving from the balls-out, barreling groove of “The Most Famous One” (its lyrics shouted through a megaphone) to the gentle acoustic strum of “These Games.”  The new album finds these ideas worked to a more complete end, with the addition of former Perpetual Groove keyboardist Matt McDonald providing a moody, atmospheric layer to the proceedings.

While SeepeopleS have often seemed not to garner all the attention they deserve, Apocalypse Cow Vol. II is a majestic epic of psychedelic power-pop, and the sound of a band at its peak making a bold statement.

Label: Unsigned

Release date: Sept 4 2009 (Digital) / Spring 2010 (Physical)

Track list:

  1. What ‘s Missing ?
  2. What Makes It Go ?
  3. Modern Times
  4. Used to Know
  5. Face The Day
  6. These Games
  7. When You Can ‘t Stand
  8. Big Heart (Modern Love Song )
  9. I Got One Thing
  10. The Most Famous One
  11. Round 12
  12. Last Breath Reprise

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