Delorean - Apar | Album Review | By Volume

Gotta get out, before my heart explodes. Candy Says - Not Kings



Inviting you to the growing pains party.

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Author: on September 19, 2013
True Panther
September 10, 2013

Maturation is inherently the worst. Want a little proof? We spend an enormous amount of time as adults trying to have fun like we did when we were children.  Not that this is a bad thing; it is one of the more beautiful aspects of the human condition. But the transition between youth and adulthood for most can be a bit taxing on the mind.  Delorean seem to be cracking the first whitecaps on their respective journeys to becoming the crotchety elders we all do, and Apar is their mature record, the breakup record that sees them shed a good portion of the studio-trinkets that made them so appealing in the first place. Instead, they go for a spacey and minimalist approach, in an attempt to arise anew like a phoenix, reinvented and reupholstered.

The thing is, Apar isn’t really all that different from Delorean’s previous material. It’s just a lesser version, a weird experiment of sorts. Sometimes this more new wave approach to their music pays off; “Your Face” and its 80s techno sheen would be a good example of this rare complete success. But predominantly you’re left at the verses and bridges impatiently tapping your feet, waiting for the excellent hooks to swoop back around.  They’re hooks that sound exceptionally close to the heat-wave of Balearic bounce and the luscious melodies that resonated from both the Ayrton Senna EP and Subiza, though sadly, they’re never as supremely delectable as that ear candy.

Apar is for the most part significantly more down-tempo in comparison to their initial records. This aesthetic transition itself isn’t bad – a good comparison would be The Twilight Sad’s metamorphosis into a more dance-oriented post-punk outfit with No One Can Ever Know from their reverb-drenched beginnings.  Both bands have moved into realms populated with more organic dance music, but the essential difference is that Delorean is moving a bit sideways to get there; Apar feels like a hiccup in the journey, one caused by some caustic trauma to the vehicle (the break-up perhaps?), and one they will hopefully recover from soon. And while tunes like “Spirit”, “Still You” and “Destitute Time” highlight just how excellent they are at creating little pockets of pop-wonder, the album’s best track is completely vacant of lead singer Ekhi Lopetegi.

“Unhold”, which is anchored by the exceptional guest vocals of Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek, is easily Apar’s finest moment, but it also highlights one glaring misnomer. Delorean have done away with their glitchy female vocal samples, instead decorating Apar with actual people inside their vocal booth. The problem is this serves to accentuates Lopetegi’s nasally voice, which when drowned out  by synthesizers and coupled vocally with robotic counterparts, sounds downright exciting. Here on Apar, cleaned up and spotlight saturated, you notice the flaws. These little sullies sit at the album’s core though; Apar is about fucking up, about finding yourself, about rejecting previous plans and forging anew. And for this is deserves to be lauded. In a way, Delorean have succeeded in their quest to create a stripped down, naked-for-all-to-see record, in leaving their studio dependency behind with a prideful record, and Apar is certainly that. It just isn’t all that exciting compared to the grandiose journey it is advertised as. It’s more of a solid try, like some casual post break-up sex that finishes cutting those ties. A little fun, but in the end, also pretty stale.

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