This Lawrence, Kansas combo make no secret that their sophomore album was made possible by winning the Dance/Electronica part of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Apparently, the contest was judged on good intentions rather than actual songwriting ability. Though they have spunk in a Barenaked Ladies kind of way (if you can stomach that) and sound genuinely interested in spreading cosmic good vibes, Apollo 13 try on techniques and genres the way a kid tries on Halloween costumes—hardly settling into one before casting it off for another. Stoner rock, garage rock, Beatlesque pop, and—oh, yeah—trancey electronica all make brief appearances, but only the atmospheric space-rock of “Up, Up & Away” sticks to the wall. That Apollo 13 openly acknowledge Lenny Kravitz as an influence speaks highly of their generous spirit, but of their songs? Not so much.
// Notes from the Road
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