Apache Dropout, Apache Dropout (Deluxe Edition â€“ eMusic Exclusive)
Showing both sides of the band's personality
Apache Dropout’s self-titled debut was one of 2011′s most grievously overlooked albums. The Bloomington, Indiana, trio offered 11 songs with howling vocals and infectious hooks, and while they’re often lumped in with other garage punks, their guitar-driven sound owes more to Nuggets than Black Flag. “Teenager,” for example, is organ-driven bubblegum that laments the exquisite pain of adolescence. There’s the bar-band choogling, John Sinclair-namedropping “God Bless You John Kugleberg,” the brief, screaming blues “White Out Man” and the swampy, ominous tracks “It’s a Nightmare,” which ends with a cackling witch.
But this deluxe edition’s major draw is the inclusion of nine live tracks, which do the band an incredible service. The harmonies have more bark, their guitars are louder and more fuzzed out, and every song feels a little bit bolder. Though the bulk of the material comes from Apache Dropout, boisterous songs like “It’s a Nightmare” and “White Out Man” become more powerful and listenable in a live setting, which keeps things from feeling repetitive. Meanwhile, a poppier track like “Teenager” gets a bit more bite. The deluxe Apache Dropout shows both sides of the band’s personality: slightly more reserved in the studio and slightly more unhinged live. So listen for the hooks, but stay for the screaming.