Space Apaches - Smokin' Voyages
Released September 10, 2015
By Graham White
Opening with classic psychedelia and a late 70’s – early 80’s rock and roll vibe, Smokin’ Voyages is a nostalgic album for anyone who hasn’t stopped listening to the Eagles and is looking for something new (they are described on their SoundCloud as being, "kinda like a psychedelic Eagles with a sense of humor."). Blues guitar solos dominate the musical landscape, which is mostly made up of country-rock rhythm thrown headlong through an effects pedal. Sometimes feeling like a Tom Petty tribute band, Space Apaches is clearly well versed in crafting rock singles with their own twist.
Listening to the album, one is pleased more by the psychedelic ambient sounds than the melody or rhythm, neither of which stand out. It is easy to imagine these rockers on stage thirty years ago, opening for Aerosmith’s Back in the Saddle reunion tour. By no means is contemporary, the album nonetheless wonderful as an undiscovered relic from the past – though even then, some may find it all too digestible.
However, the album is upbeat and authentic. Clearly, the band members are skilled in their particular genre of sound making, and it is notable that the actual recording is brilliantly mixed. The most enjoyable tracks on the album include Smile, which has a Santana-esque groove that transports listeners to the golden age of rock and roll. This is Space Apaches’ greatest strength, and greatest weakness. Their tracks, while nostalgic, leads listeners to believe they are listening to a famous group from a bygone era.
Just Dropped In, a cover track originally written by Mickey Newbury, is a wonderful rendition of a classic rock and roll tune. From there, it is easy to see that Space Apaches are skilled musicians and performers. For listeners who enjoyed the 70’s and wish they never ended, here is an album for you.