Apache Dropout – Heavy Window
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The Midwest has long been a home for musicians who have found their own path for getting into the good groove -- spin some Parliament/Funkadelic, Ohio Players, or Curtis Mayfield if you need pertinent examples -- and Apache Dropout show that the boogie can manifest itself in strange yet remarkable ways when you take it to Indiana and feed it a certain amount of hallucinogens. On their third album, Heavy Window, Apache Dropout seem less interested in giving up the funk than in finding the great pulse that governs us all, and drummer Seth Mahern sure does his best to re-create it in the studio. Mahern's primal beat-keeping recalls the unyielding rhythmic heartbeat Maureen Tucker brought to the Velvet Underground, and it's an ideal foundation for Nathan Warrick's throbbing, subsonic bass and the noisy report of Sonny Blood (aka Sonny Alexander) and his guitar. Thanks to Mahern and Warrick, you can dance to Heavy Window 'til the cows come home, but Blood makes sure to keep this party as trippy as he can, with blankets of fuzztone, aggressive panning, and bursts of atonal noise, not to mention tossing in non-sequiturs from aged spoken-word albums. Blood's version of psychedelic boogie rock is inarguably warped, but this reverb-laden, low-budget trip into the unknown is also a lot of fun; Heavy Window is as frantic and trippy as anything from Thee Oh Sees or Ty Segall, but it's a good bit less self-conscious, and has an admirable sense of oddball humor. (And "Detective" is also one of the more unusual Chuck Berry rip-offs/homages you're likely to hear.) Apache Dropout may be acid-fried boogie men, but there is some real semblance of boogie to be found on Heavy Window; just let it take hold and you'll be shaking 'til sunup.