27 January 2021 (released)
12 February 2021
As the years pass, the pantheon of what is considered “classic rock” grows steadily as cutting edge styles fade into the tapestry of history. For those who are too old to be on TikTok but too young to still use Facebook regularly, the incendiary bands we grew up with are getting inducted into the roll and roll hall of fame as elder statesmen. Already 10 years ago, the Experience Music Project in Seattle (now the Museum of Pop Culture) had a survey out which asked “Who is the best band of your parents' generation? The options included '60s and '70s legends but also '90s grunge rebels Nirvana. Feel old now? This amalgamation under the big umbrella becomes a wide-ranging pool from which new artists draw inspiration.
For Moscow rockers, Apache Rose, the full history of heavy rock is tapped into to craft their groove-driven sound. Their debut album Attention! takes some of the bombast of '70s punk and '90s grunge and pours it into the mould of classic rock songwriting. The band delivers the tracks like a well-oiled machine, perfectly executed for the alternative radio circuit.
'Easy' kicks off the album with a classic Aerosmith vibe but quickly sinks into a '90s alternative verse with that crunchy-chill SoCal sound. Guitar lead licks slither in and out over the tightly-locked rhythm section. 'Tiny Love' sets off with a Chili Peppers vibe. The snappy slinky bass syncs up with the guitar's muted chucka-chuckas. A simple driving beat pushes us through the verse to a festival-ready chorus where the vocals split off in octaves with the lead of Ilya Novokhatskiy hitting that hooky nirvana that locks itself in your brain.
Mid-album gear switch 'Hit Me' sinks down into a dub-style groove. The steamy club mood walks the line between Sublime and Brit-revival alt-rock. The title track's thick bass chords in the verse imply a heavier conclusion but we never stray too far from safe classic alternative territory. 'Some Kind of Love' wraps the album with a swinging singsong. Novokhatskiy almost drifts into Les Claypool territory with his vocals before locking back in for the flourishing sentimental choruses.
Attention! is a tightly produced record of '90s-juiced alternative that would find itself on heavy MTV rotation in the late '90s when grunge had been distilled from its more metal and punk tendencies to create its own very specific genre. If we had the ability to put on festivals this summer, these guys would be a perfect soundtrack to a sunny beer garden afternoon. Hopefully, those days are coming back soon.