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Don't Bogart that joint. - 85%

SoylentGreenIsPeople, May 3rd, 2009

One can get a pretty good idea of what the lyrical content of Apogee will be just by seeing the cover. It depicts a DEA chopper flying above a Marijuana field, caught in a cross hair. To pound home the point, the back cover shows the chopper going down in flames.

Throughout this album, the joys of the lazy leaf are extolled. Except, of course, for the track “Grim Reefer”. Clocking in at nearly eleven minutes, and featuring a quite long audio sample from the Academy Award-winning film American Beauty, it seems to be about paranoia.

In a world where “public service” announcements spew propaganda claiming that smoking dope automatically transforms people into lazy, unreliable and thieving idiots, it's good to see an album that attempts to take a balanced look at the giggle bush. Perhaps the drawbacks of the herb are a little underrepresented here, but at least it's not a one-sided affair.

The music itself is fuzzy, down-tuned and ballsy. It can best be described as a mix of stoner, sludge and doom. There are spaced out moments, and the vocals consist of raspy, atonal growls. Most of the songs were recorded live, which adds to the overall raw feeling. No one can accuse this album of being over produced. It's streamlined down to the gritty essentials. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America definitely wouldn't approve of it, but I think it's a damn good album.