Like a lot of other pop fans, I sometimes wonder what happened the all of the aggression in rock music. Where once rock n’ roll was the epicenter of grandiosity, the flashpoint of creative integrity, it is now a hollow shell of the legendary orb that it once was. It can get daunting just scanning the radio and hearing nothing but rock bands from the 70s, and one could easily get the idea that rock as we know it is in fact dead. But in the wake of this depressing climate, Vinyl Floor is here to prove that not only is rock alive and well, it’s kicking out the jams louder than ever from the underground, and their new album Apogee goes a long way to backing up their argument.
Some of the greatest heavy bands of all time have come from the European continent, and although I would hardly restrict Vinyl Floor’s sound to being purely Danish in its design, the band does a good job of carrying on the tradition of rebellious European excess in Apogee. “Black Magic Revealed” harkens the brutality of British heavy metal, while “Eye Thing” is right out of the central European blues revival movement of the 1980s. There’s plenty of homage to their native land’s iconic history, but don’t think for a minute that Vinyl Floor didn’t make this album with a larger world view in mind. Apogee was meant for the western audience, and it just might capture the American market that the band has tried for years to penetrate.
All of the songs on Apogee would probably work well in an acoustic setting as well, and I don’t think that can be said for most of their contemporaries in and outside of their scene these days. Rock n’ roll was created out of the ashes of blues and early R&B, but over the last half century many of the hallmarks of its original sound – such as being able to strip away all of the electricity and still have a pretty good composition to work with. I’d love to hear Vinyl Floor do an unplugged version of Apogee, and with their experimental attitude I could possibly end up getting my wish at some point in the future.
I’ve hated terms like “alternative” for the bulk of my career as a music journalist, because for the most part since the 1990s the term has rarely, if ever, applied to the bands that have worn it like a badge of honor. In this scenario, I think that calling Apogee an alternative rock record would actually be fitting as it’s a very sublime alternative to any of the pointless dribble you could be exposed to if you go wandering the airwaves looking for new rock music. Vinyl Floor are committed to keeping rock n’ roll’s torch lit going for a new generation to be able to champion and develop even further, and this album is by far their most formidable contribution to the international pop music songbook to date.