Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Apartments - Drift

You couldn't accuse The Apartments of rushing their follow up to their debut.  Released in 1992, it bears little resemblance to the prevailing sounds of the time, and it certainly doesn't appear that seven years elapsed since their prophetically-titled debut The Evening Visits... And Stays for Years.  The plaintively strummed acoustic guitars of opener The Goodbye Train do build up to a heavier sound than anything on the debut, adding pounding drums and Peter Milton Walsh's electric guitar.  The album does an about turn with the jaunty On Every Corner  and then another with strange ballad Mad Cow which features some gorgeous strings.  These three songs encapsulate where The Apartments were in 1992: melancholy songs, with some exquisite instrumentation and real desperation in Walsh's voice (on Mad Cow).

The band were clearly happy to stretch out a bit more, getting rocky (for them) on Nothing Stops It and the bittersweet sounding Over.  All His Stupid Friends is almost childish in its glorification of another's misery, yet it's backed with wonderfully tasteful music and works beautifully.  Later, Could I Hide Here? is a fine cross pollination of the Smiths and 4AD.

After a while the tracks start to run into each other, because basically the album is a slab of thinly-veiled misery, and it's a mood held right through.  This of course, is a compliment.  Who knew wallowing self-indulgence could be so enjoyable?