Having already supported a number of successful acts including Blood Red Shoes, The Maccabees and Pete Doherty, Apache Tears have been doing their rounds of the live circuit for a while now. The Huddersfield band’s debut EP Barricades is a perfect mix of indie, folk and alternative rock with the odd pop fusion thrown in. Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan has said of the band: “There’s no air in this band! Tight as fuck!” Pretty impressive reviews, then!
The EP itself has a lot of genres on it and therefore it is one of those “everyone will love something on it” records. The title track begins with ringing calming riffs and a funky bass backed up for a drum. It’s melodic indie with a psychadelic element to it while the backing builds suspense. An atmospheric, repetitive instrumental ends it, which is a perfect introduction to what the rest of the EP is about.
Violated is something quite different again. A strong alternative influence is detected in the intro and an American slant is put on the vocals. It has that classic rock sound seen in Bon Jovi and KISS complete with metallic riffs. An easy to pick up chorus means it’s certainly an amazing live track with the potential to really bring the venue down. Loud, energetic and fun-loving, it’s an awesome rock-out party track.
Contrast it with the slow and folksy Bear Trap and you see how diverse Apache Tears are. The backing has a constant sadness in it and the dreary, resonating Northern tones add to the whole downbeat atmosphere. The backing has a gentle swaying rhythm and has a lullaby quality to it, which makes it perfect chill-out music. The Bear Trap is a metaphor for an inescapable relationship and although it may sound pretty morbid, it’s an intriguing and pretty accurate description of a situation you can’t get away from.
Worship (In The Rosary) begins with an upbeat pop-rock melody that features a dark riff and ethereal vocals. Again, the classic rock tone is ingrained in the guitars and vocal delivery. It’s a funky alternative rock track with impressive solos, which allow the vocals to really develop. In fact, it’s on Worship that the lead vocals are shown off best, as the whole range is used. It is perhaps the most technically impressive song on the EP.
Butter Up Your Enemy is the most commercial song with a real catchy hook and a retro rock and roll backing. The vocals are delivered in a quirky, staccato style which oozes British indie to a catchy rhythm. Steady drums back up the classic alternative riffs and it is another track that you can imagine would get the party started at many small venues all over the world.
The combination of the Interlude which consists of a slow whining riff that screeches its way through a misty setting and the powerful ballad called Isolation Sleep is an interesting ending which again shows a different side to Apache Tears. Interlude has running drums and a murmuring bass before dying into a blurry fuzz while Isolation Sleep has a slight country feel to it and spaced-out melodic vocals. It is a very moving and effective ending that leaves you with a positive impression.
It is a great varied EP and as a first record, it is an awesome indie rock record. If you have an eclectic taste, then you’ll love the diversity displayed throughout Barricades. There’s no doubt that it’s trendy and could possibly be labelled as a hipster record. However, there isn’t any urgent feeling that you have to be cool to enjoy it, making it pretty accessible to just about everyone.