Secret Apollo – Homemade Time Machine / 2006 Tall People / 18 Tracks / http://www.secretapollo.com / Reviewed 10 November 2006
The disc’s first track is odd to say the least. The first half of this seventy second track starts off with a very “Children of the Corn” type of chanting, before Secret Apollo moves into a seventies rock type of sound. “Daydreamers Anonymous” brings a few different styles to the repertoire of Secret Apollo. In fact, the only thing that seems to be a constant with Secret Apollo has to be the interesting production values that the band uses for “Homemade Time Machine”. There is a little bit of echo that is strewn throughout the track. The ending of “Daydreamers Anonymous” recalls the instrumental backdrop of “Missed Me” by Dressy Bessy, from the But I’m A Cheerleader soundtrack. The blend of seventies rock and alternative music is perfected for “Piccolo”.
There are a number of bands that Secret Apollo recall with this track, a list that includes Polaris and a harder-edged Edwin McCain. “The Museum of Making Music’ moves Secret Apollo into a “Edison Museum”-era They Might Be Giant (and I’m not just saying that because both tracks deal with a museum). Secret Apollo begin “Plane Ape” with a guitar arrangement that is comparable to “Paranoid Android”-era Radiohead, while simultaneously crafting their own style during this track. The tracks are not at the cutting edge of experimentation, but each of the eighteen tracks on “Homemade Time Machine” is short enough that individuals will never feel as if the band has fallen into a rut with their music. Secret Apollo is an interesting band, and I am proud to say that I had no clue what was in store from the band with each subsequent track on this album.
The vocals at times approach Fred Schneider from the B-52s, but not in the annoying way some may think. The disc is compelling and tells a story, even if the majority of tracks do not have much in common beyond the lead vocalist and a general focus on alternative music. Secret Apollo is a band that came out of left field, and their catchy music (exemplified in tracks like “Universe”) is something that more individuals should focus in on. The production may be odd at times, but the skill and ability of the band is more than enough to make up for anything that might be lacking in that department. Hit up Secret Apollo’s website and make sure to buy a copy of this album.
Top Tracks: Universe, Always Turns Out Bad