A world full of discord and people who don’t know how to get along anymore. There’s war in one corner of the planet, bigotry in another. Every day it seems like the clouds get a little darker and we all get a little further away from peace. The desolate, bleak universe described in Vinyl Floor’s new album Apogee, out this fall everywhere indie music is sold, is sadly not too far off from our own world, where division has taken the place of unity almost everywhere you look nowadays. But as is the case with most things in this life, music has the divine ability to strike a blow into the tyranny that keeps us apart, and Vinyl Floor have devised a brilliant rock album that does a good job of keeping the good fight alive.
Apogee is crafted with such exquisite detail that you could spend a couple of weeks taking it apart piece by piece and still probably find some new, exciting nuance with every listen. Just in the last few days of studying its ten songs in preparation for this review, I found that each time I heard “Spoiled Kids” or “Ivory Tower” that I came away with a different interpretation. That isn’t something that typically happens for me when I’m reviewing a rock album as opposed to a jazz or classical piece, but Vinyl Floor is anything but your typical rock band. As demonstrated by their furiously diverse catalog of work, if this group believes in one thing it is that you should never follow the same road twice.
Music is constantly evolving and changing, and if you blink for even a second you might miss what’s happening next. Apogee is a picture window into Vinyl Floor’s aesthetic at the most molecular level; three players, three instruments, a lot of tonalities and a lot of violent expressions. While it is true that modern audiences are far more demanding than their parents were, you would have to be clinically dead not to appreciate the straight, unfiltered groove of Apogee and its visceral rock n’ roll weightiness. Whether it’s the rollick of “Eye Thing” or the jarring stoner rock of “Black Magic Revealed,” Vinyl Floor has got something for everyone on this album.
This group of dedicated musicians has never quite received the credit that they deserve for their tremendous contribution to Danish music and European indie rock in general, but I think that Apogee just might be the record that puts them on the mainstream map once and for all. It’s not glistening with Hollywood post-production plasticity, but it’s not a faded neo-wash of old-fashioned rock n’ roll ethos, either. This is Vinyl Floor’s naked album; the piece where all of the pressure is removed and the lead jacket of commercial marketing is absent altogether. This is Vinyl Floor realizing their sound, and while the pop music establishment might not have been ready to embrace them in their last record, Apogee demands a reaction, and so far it’s getting a pretty good one.
-review by Jodi Marxbury