If you grew up in the late ‘80s and early ’90s, the Space Apaches “Smoking’ Voyages” will make you feel you woke up in the middle of your childhood. Solid classic rock sounds with some country, alternative and even bluegrass vibes make for a smorgasbord of awesome sounds that again, will remind you of a simpler time in music where a great lick could fuel a track.
While the covers “Just Dropped In” and a gothic rendition of “Ghost Riders in the Sky” are testaments to the band’s versatility, it’s the other tracks on the album that showcase the band’s ability to “play” with their sound.
“Sunrise” has a cool Screaming Trees vibe to it that any fan of ‘90s rock can quickly grab on to. Although the lyrics aren’t anything special, more cliche than eccentric, Jim Arrendell’s solid drum work throughout stars, with Andrew Reed and Tom Leiner’s guitars cascading nicely off of one another. In the end, it’s a mellow track perfect for winding down your day.
“In My Mind” has an awesome Bon Jovi “Dead or Alive” feel and the type of pulse-pounding pace that would have made it perfect on an episode of Sons of Anarchy. While it suffers again from a lack of a real infectious hook, the musicianship, from Rob Geisler’s awesome bass line to more of the same solid work from Reed, Leiner and Arrendell make it a special one.
The standout song on the album has to be “I’m On My Way to Feelin’ Fine” though. With the Warren Zevon meets Steely Dan feel, it’ll have you tapping you feet together right from the start. The addition of the backup singers, catchy piano work from Andrew Price and some of the best lyrics on the record make it something pulled out a southern saloon decades ago.
The fact that all of the members of this band have been in the studio for decades adds a depth to their sound and the album. Clocking in at 13 tracks, most of which are over four minutes, the Space Apaches’ “Smoking’ Voyages’ is a beefy collection of tracks. From country-toned ballads to classic rock and bluegrass, there’s something for every ear here.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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