Album Review :
The Apathy Eulogy - Introduction: Walk North When Winter Hits

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Artist: The Apathy Eulogy
Album: Introduction: Walk North When Winter Hits
Label: None (released independently)
Release Date: February 23, 2008
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. Mandelbrot
2. We Did This to Myself
3. These Aren’t Tears, They’re Atom Bombs
4. Impetuous Me
5. If I Take This Sitting Down Will You Promise to Leave on the Gloves?
6. To Be Read in the Morning Directly after You Wake

As both the follow-up to last year’s Beauty for Ashes and the first of a three EP project to be released this year, Introduction: Walk North When Winter Hits comes out of your stereo like a brick to the face. A nice brick that is… you know, the kind that makes you love life more. One of those bricks.

In contrast to their former material, this EP features only Rob Kelly on vocals and guitar as the band was transitioning between members when it was recorded. Something is certainly missing without John Cotter’s sweet voice trading back and forth with Rob’s, but what is left is a band that knows what to do in his absence. The vocals are softened as the songs are slowed down. The beats coming from Brian Curlee’s cajon (or “box” as he calls it) are more present and more complex, and Mitch Ryan’s keys abandon the up-beat synth sounds for a softer, subtler approach that ties everything together in a background sort of way that isn’t always possible to be picked out, but you could definitely notice a problem if it was missing. The raw emotion in the lyrics and the vocals is still here, and it shines through most in “These Aren’t Tears They’re Atom Bombs” as Rob sings out “Is this what love feels like when it’s over? I wish to God I didn’t know. I wish to God I didn’t care. Is this what blood feels like when it runs colder? I wish that I could sleep. I wish that I was hers.

These tracks take a much more toned down approach than Beauty for Ashes, which will perhaps be able to bring in a more indie-loving crowd to join their already existent pop-loving crowd. While I predict (and hope) the next two EPs will at least in part show a return to dual vocals and fun up-beat songs (since they’ve acquired another vocalist/guitarst named Rory since this EP was recorded), Walk North When Winter Hits is a nice glimpse of the somber, introspective side of The Apathy Eulogy that doesn’t abandon the core elements of their sound, and one that is certainly worth the $7 they’re charging for it at shows right now.

8/10

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