The Apex Theory

Topsy-Turvy

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Sometimes when several genres appeal to the same group of listeners, some interesting and inspiring blends come together. At the Drive-In's Relationship of Command was an excellent mix of Korn's intense alternative metal and Jawbox's tense emo rock, and it caught on with audiences because of the cross appeal. Apex Theory makes a similar leap, blending At the Drive-In's unique music with Incubus' melodic mood metal to make another excellent genre-bending album. Apex Theory knows exactly which elements to take from each approach, whether it be the clear-throated croon of the latter or the delicate, experimental guitar of the former. For a good example, just try "Bullshed," which has amazing guitar work, intelligent lyrics, and a catchy melody that sticks around long after the song is over. Or "That's All," which uses a stuttered drumbeat and a weird ringing guitar part to keep the intense vocal work of Andy Khachaturian afloat. The production, by Don Gilmore, is crystal clear and allows the listener to pick up on every detail of the band's multi-faceted sound. The addition of mixer Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails) on the latter half of the album isn't the drastic sonic shift one would expect, although the band seems more willing to experiment with various sounds on these tracks. Metal and emo fans should both give this a listen; this is rewarding music that could easily fit into many categories, but ultimately stands on its own as a really great Apex Theory record.

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