Apache Dropout is a band I came across tonight that immediately caught my attention based on the album artwork and the year it was released alone. This album, the group’s self-titled debut, Apache Dropout (2011), has mono written across the top of the artwork, and knowing that the album was released in 2011, I knew I wanted to give it a listen. I then looked a bit further into the band, and noticed that the group is a psychedelic blues rock trio from Indiana that was formed sometime in the late 2000s. Their third album was reviewed by Pitchfork in 2014, and the band seems to be generally well-received based on what I’m seeing online. I’m pretty excited to give this one a listen, so with that said, I’m going to jump on into the music.
“I’m So Glad” starts out with some deep, churning, distorted bass, a bit of feedback, and scream that soon gives way to a really interesting sort of psychedelic garage rock/proto-punk sound reminiscent of groups from the late 1960s. I’m kind of reminded of the Ty Segall & White Fence album I listened to a little while ago so far. I really dig the heaviness in the distortion and bass, which sort of remind me of some hard rock sounds from the early 1970s, while the exploratory guitar work brings in a nearly experimental sound. Great track, and I’m excited to hear more.
“Teenager” gets grooving with some classic garage rock sounding guitar work and some super groovy organs behind the guitar that sort of remind me of the earlier psychedelic blues sound of the Grateful Dead circa 1967, while the vocals bring in a really interesting punk sort of sound that feels laced with teenage angst. Holy smokes, there’s a really peaceful reversed-instrumentation ending to the track. Great tune.
Oh wow, “Nothing In My Hand” gets grooving with some classic garage rock sound in the guitars while the organs bring in some psychedelic flavors to raw nature of the track. Holy smokes, the guitar solo really brings a lot of raw, crunchy distortion to the soundscape. The soundscape almost sounds like some mixture of Iron Butterfly and The Stooges circa 1969 with a heavy emphasis on garage rock flavors. Great track.
“It’s a Nightmare” begins with some narration, which gives way to some somewhat psychedelic sound effects including a spacey breeze and a heartbeat of some sort. Oh wow, the track drops into a classic garage rock sound that sounds like it could have been recorded back in the 1960s; I’m particularly reminded of The Rationals in this track. Oh wow, the end of the track features some more sound effects that seems to add some more psychedelia to the track. Great tune.
Oh wow, “Sam Phillips Rising” has a really groovy, fuzzy guitar line set to a reliable beat while the bass line adds a lot of dynamic feel to the rhythm section at the start. Oh wow, I really dig the vocals in this track, which seem to be noticeably more psychedelic in terms of the layering and reverberation; the vocals almost sound like they’re peering through some sort of ghostly breeze that’s set to an upbeat psychedelic blues boogie track. Holy smokes, then end of the track breaks through to a super groovy and chaotic jam for a moment. Great track.
“Run Peacock Run” gets grooving with some classic bluesy garage rock instrumentation in the guitars, bass, and drums, while the vocals have this interesting reverberation that reminds me a lot of both the garage rock bands from the 1960s, as well some modern psychedelic rock bands like Kingdom of the Holy Sun. Oh wow, I really dig the raw sound of the instrumentation in this track. Holy smokes, there’s a really sweet, spacey synth that I just noticed as the track comes to an end. Super sweet tune.
“Dry Basement” gets started with some classic bluesy, psychedelic garage rock guitar and an upbeat, driving beat. I really dig the dynamic sound from the bass line in this track. Holy smokes, the short guitar solo in this track has some super sweet experimental sounds. Holy smokes, that experimental, fuzzed-out guitar is back as the track seems to tie itself together with some psychedelic sounds. Great track.
“Sylvia” gets grooving with a classic garage rock boogie after a countdown from the band. I really dig the bass line in this track, which adds a lot of dynamic movement to the grooving feel from the crunchy guitar and strong, steady beat. The vocals have the classic 1960s garage rock sound that reminds me a bit of The Fugs. Super sweet track.
“White Out Man” gets grooving right away with some garage rock guitars and and a steady beat, while the vocals have a high, raw energy that nearly gets into a punk rock sort of territory. Holy smokes, the guitar licks in this track are super groovy. Wow, great track.
“God Bless You Johan Kugelberg” gets started with an interesting pacing that nearly evokes a sort of country-inflected blues rock gallop mixed with some raw garage rock, and I’m really digging the sound. Oh wow, the feel of this track reminds me again of The Fugs, especially with the raw garage rock sound that ventures into psychedelic rock. Holy smokes, this guitar solo is extremely flavorful and evokes a classic, fuzzed-out psychedelic rock sound that even feels vaguely raga-inflected. Oh wow, some spacey sound effects and some old narration from what sounds to be a press-conference regarding drug use in the 1960s is added as the band continues to jam on. Wow, great track.
“Cha Cha” starts out with some super flavorful, melodic, and even somewhat polished garage rock sounds from a marching beat and some guitar chords, which is soon joined by some really sweet, reverberated vocals that evoke more of a modern psychedelic rock sound. Oh wow, some notes/sound effects from a synth/keyboard gradually come in, and I just noticed a bit of a clapping sound in the percussion as well. Wow, great track, and a great way to finish the album.
Holy smokes, I’m glad I checked out this album tonight. Throughout the listening experience I was reminded of a number of bands from the 1960s that were in the garage rock, psychedelic rock, and even proto-punk spaces like The Fugs, The Rationals, and even The Stooges, while there were also some elements in the sort of approach in the reverberation that particularly reminded me of modern psych groups like Kingdom of the Holy Sun. If you’re into garage rock and psychedelic rock from the late 1960s and are interested in hearing a modern group with that sort of sound, then you might want to consider checking out this album. If you do decide to give this album a listen, I sincerely do hope that you enjoy the listening experience at least as much as I did.