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Apache - 1981 Apache

ARTIST: Apache
ALBUM: Apache
LABEL: Atco/Emerald City Records
SERIAL: ATL K 50-826
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: Joe Messina - vocals * Dan Sherman - guitars * Peter Arendt - guitars * Tom Clifford - bass * Gary T Amos - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Please Don't Stop The Music * 02 And You Know * 03 Cold Fire * 04 Suzanna * 05 Working Man * 06 J.B.'s Open House * 07 Marathon * 08 Down On The Corner * 09 Born To Raise Hell * 10 Children Of The Night

Here's another one of those obscure entries in the International Encyclopedia Of Hard Rock And Heavy Metal. The American band Apache. Everything about them sounds intriguing and exotic. Interesting to the point of investigation. Upon researching this lot, there wasn't a lot to go on. Their record label appears to be Atco, but also a subsidiary called Emerald City Records also appears to be involved. The entry in the above named publication stated this.. 'This band seems destined for failure. Their mixture of hard and soft rock lacks real feeling.' And for once, it appears that the writers are correct in their assertion. Apache's music doesn't quite hit the mark with me, it has many comparisons to that Muscle Shoals type sound.. that is: a mix of mild 70's flavoured southern rock (think Allman Brothers, Wet Willie), and commercial blues.

The Songs
Singer Joe Messina, who I believe is still active in Detroit music circles, can carry a lot of the burden for the band's woes. Instrumentally the band are fine, but the ideas and vocal lines are sadly lacking. The lead-off song 'Please Don't Stop The Music' is a disaster in my opinion, with accompanying children's vocal lines which tend to overpower the song. Second up effort 'And You Know' typifies that Muscle Shoals comparison I mentioned earlier. 'Cold Fire' contains a few edgy moments, but soon after I was nearly left comatose listening to the ballad 'Suzanna'. Oh dear, what is this? Invoking thoughts of the wild-west is 'Working Man' - a track that echoes the southern rock genre with credit.. one of the few tracks here that does. 'J.B's Open House' is upbeat and near boogie, and recounts a tale of the good ol' boys (Dukes Of Hazzard anyone?). At last, there is some furious guitar work apparent on 'Marathon', a steaming slab of 70's rock. On the other hand, 'Born To Raise Hell' doesn't even sound as if it could raise a sweat, let alone 'hell'. The band finish off with a sweeping ballad 'Children Of The Night' with more kiddies providing supporting vocals in the background.. unfortunately another insipid effort.

In Summary
I tried really hard to like this album, but I was defeated very early on in the piece. Yes, there are some hard rock moments of interest, but the arrangements drag the interest level way down below the waterline. Let's be clear, it's not AOR, it's not even melodic rock as such, but 70's styled rock with an infusion of southern rock. Fortunately, the public was spared any future releases from this lot.

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#1 | Eric on May 10 2007 23:27:08
This is one of those albums I have passed over several times at second hand shops. After reading this, I guess my hunch was right. Anyone remember the band Oklahoma? Martin Popoff did in his Southern Rock book. Ignoring his comments, I wonder about that one too?hmm!
#2 | rkbluez on May 10 2007 23:34:43
Yep this album stinks...I think I have it in my mothers cellar somewhere...and I have no intrest in dragging it out. I to tried to like it but back then there was so many better albums out there this one did nada for me.thumbs down
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