Pulse Park – Apollonian Heart – Review

Pulse ParkCanadian act Pulse Park is a freshly assembled crew who met on an Arctic expedition. With their “psycho-acoustic noise pop” sound, they deliver songs detailing “the cold, the dark, cod-liver oil, and the dinky Arctic hares”, providing a unique insight into a rare lifestyle. Pulse Park released a three song self-titled EP in May of 2020, featuring the song “Apollonian Heart”.

Pulse Park – Apollonian Heart

The band blasts into the track immediately, with a shimmery, psychedelic guitar line leading the way through the intro. Rhythm guitar, bass, and drums fill out the rest of the arrangement, until vocals enter. The music in the verse keeps the same chugging rhythm, maintaining an Energizer bunny consistency that drives the song. Haunting male vocals take center stage for the verse, replacing the lead guitar line. This allows the alternating vocals and lead guitar to stand out and not fight for their space; the result is a pleasant push-pull between the two parts. The lyrics seem unmarried from each other, almost like spoken phrases coming from a stream of consciousness. The last line, “conscious behavior / very bad habits” gives some insight into the singer’s frame of mind.

The chorus brings in both somber vocals and the lead guitar line from the intro, layering over each other without taking away from one another. The vocals bow out for an instrumental cycle before returning for the second verse. This time the vocals are joined by guitar harmonics subtly layered underneath, creating nice texture and contrast. The melancholy mood continues here, as the singer cryptically details his plight, doing so in such a way that the listener is not ever truly sure what gave him this sadness.

After a second chorus, the lead guitar hits a sustained note solo, letting each pitch ring out into searing oblivion, possibly with the use of an e-bow or some other sustain device. This provides a welcome break from the main sections of the song, which do lack something in variety. That is perhaps the only criticism; that the bulk of the song starts to feel a little flat with lack of variety. Still, the ending is powerful and final, bringing to a close a great first effort from a new band and leaving the listener looking forward to hearing more from these North Pole gents.

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