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Rival State - Apollo Me Album Review

29 Oct 2012 // A review by River Tucker

Rival State's album Apollo Me is a solid effort throughout. At times their powerful sound is without compromise. But this is contrasted nicely by poignant moments of deep reflection and subtle musical influences.

Forming at a Taranaki high school in 2002 and then disbanding five years later to pursue different musical paths, the five-piece band reformed again in 2011 to work on their debut release.

Apollo Me is a mixture between old and new styles. At times there’s a Panic At The Disco, Black Veil Brides and Fall Out Boy influence going on that will prove radio friendly. Underlying this are similarities to some older hit bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, The Feelers and even Skid Row. Without a doubt Apollo Me is going to strike the right chord with a large audience.

However, there are moments when the album is overly produced. In some ways it’s too perfect and the raw talent these five guys obviously have shouldn't need that much polish. In places it’s so worked that the detail and depth of the music is lost. Unfortunately too much compression, splicing to create tension and some instances of miscued auto-tune detract from the overall attributes of the compositions.

Despite the production problems, Luke Van Hoof’s vocals stand out for all the right reasons. There's a youngish tonal quality to his voice that pleasantly complements his lyrical style. Obviously a lot of time and effort has been put into the song structures to make his vocals resonate with a delightful presence.

Rival State has definitely found the right formula with Apollo Me.

Apollo Me
View Track Listing

About Rival State

During 2015 Rival State completed a run of dates with Wednesday 13 and Toseland in and they also appeared at Download Festival, BST in Hyde Park and Camden Rocks.

As the single shows perfectly the new record is another full throttle, five-song rush of Rock n Roll excellence. Filtering all their influences and attitude into well-honed songs that take a stadium pleasing approach to beaten up grunge riffs and a gift for writing hook heavy choruses, anthems with plenty of attitude.

After a very successful, No.1 release in their homeland followed by a break, and some travelling, they decided to make the life changing decision of all relocating to London in January 2014. The band - Nimal Fernando and brothers Jo, Stefan and Valdi Einarsson (Jo and Stefan are twins) hit the ground running as soon as they arrived in the UK. Live shows were quickly filling the diary, including Sonisphere, where a storming set lead to a full UK headline tour and onto their debut release – The Youth Tax EP.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Rival State


Gutter Mouth
Year: 2015
Type: EP
Youth Tax
Year: 2014
Type: EP
Apollo Me
Year: 2012
Type: Album

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