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REVIEW | Apollos’s soaring EP, “Ethos”

The sound that the alternative/ambient/post-rock Apollos has created is a beast in and of itself. Ethos has intense, rhythmic instrumentals, pensive interludes of pads and percussion, and verses leading to choruses that can make you feel like you’re flying over mountain ranges, or riding a motorcycle down the freeway at night, weightless. Clear punk-rock influences combined with beautiful songwriting and an ambient sound create the experience that is Ethos.

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Apollos is Seth Bostrom, Nathan Johnson, and Derek Ludgate.

by Andrew

The sound that the alternative/ambient/post-rock Apollos has created is a beast in and of itself. Ethos has intense, rhythmic instrumentals, pensive interludes of pads and percussion, and verses leading to choruses that can make you feel like you’re flying over mountain ranges, or riding a motorcycle down the freeway at night, weightless. Clear punk-rock influences combined with beautiful songwriting and an ambient sound create the experience that is Ethos.

“Final Words” represents the faster and more upbeat part of Ethos. It starts out like most other Apollos songs: laid-back and waiting for the kick into tumultuous guitar riffs and epic drumming. The twist comes when Seth’s vocals usher in a verse reminiscent of many pop punk tracks, and further throw the listener for a loop with a chorus that blows it all out of the water with a grand-flowing melody.

“Skeptic” is a showcase for Apollos’s songwriting style and is reminiscent of “Clarity” from their 2012 EP, Apollos. Driving drum beats accompany heart-felt lyrics amidst a landscape of beautiful chords and melodies developed throughout. In addition to bridge breaks with isolated vocals and drum instrumentals.

“Home” is the first we hear of Apollos’s new direction with their sound. This track is completely instrumental and resembles the intros of many songs on Ethos, but is able to stand on its own. “Home” ushers the listener to fill the absence of vocals with engaged listening and changing emotions to accompany the changing tones.

“Affection” is slower, but no less intrinsically demonstrates Ethos’s wide range of song styles. The drumming continues to be exceptional and Seth’s vocals never leave the listener with a dull moment.

“City of Lights” demonstrates just how heavy Apollos can get. From the start, intense guitar and even heavier drums slam this tune into the clouds. The chorus leads off with an irresistible hook and eager hits attend to every twist and turn of Seth’s lyrics. The instrumental bridge makes the intensity of the rest of the track pale in comparison to its deep electric guitar strumming and epic scale.

“Ethos” is beautiful. Seven minutes long, it epitomizes the genre of post-rock and Apollos’s desire to fill every song with as much depth and attention to rhythmic complexities as possible. Starting with a simple piano riff, the track builds and builds to a fantastical climax that makes the entire EP seem like the foothills of a wondrous mountain range that beckons you to reach its highest peaks.

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