Apollo 13
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Apollo 13

Band Alternative Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



""Brave New World" Album Review"

Here's an interesting disc, although somewhat scattershot stylistically. The reason for the diversity lies in the creation, as Shannon Savoie, the frontman for the Kansas-based outfit, the Band That Saved the World (reviewed here a while back), began working on some of his own material apart from the band. Also joining the lineup from TBTSTW were Mike MacFarland on keys, guitars, among other things, and Will Dinkel on bass. Drummer Danny Rojas was recruited, and voila, the band was complete. They laid down a bunch of stuff, won first place in an international song contest, and continue to grow as I type. Anyway, while some stuff is in the electronica dance arena, you'll also find bits of reggae, and straight-ahead rock. Though this lack of focus may be, well, a bit unsettling for some, it actually plays rather well, coming across like 45 minutes of good college radio. The fact that they can be chameleons, successfully handling a variety of styles, points to a bright future. Some bands have enough trouble getting their own sound right, making a disc a nightmare to listen to, but Apollo 13 have a mature and capable approach which, unless they're struck by a bad case of writer's block, should allow them to continue to produce good music. www.apollothirteen.com - Bill Ribas @ NY Rock

""Hero" Song Review"

Audigy gave a score of 9.08 / 10. Comments were:
Hold on to those headphones! Apollo 13 takes electronic music to a whole new level, were talking electronic meets lounge, which in return has an affair with Cowboy Bebop - Talk about a musical love triangle. Apollo 13 is my "Hero" for breaking the electronic standard. The group's songwriting skills are exceptional with that fresh spin on the genre as a whole. Not to mention that Shannon Savoie's voice is just incredible - Simon Cowell would be impressed! After I went to the moon and came back to earth I was ready for another listen thoroughly being absorbed. Bottom line, "Hero" is a must have. Excellent job guys!

Scoring: Songcraft: 9, Recording: 8.5, Freshness: 8, Vocals: 10, XFactor: 10 - The Consensus

""Lovebomb" Album Review"

While they’ve been garnering some awards in the dance/electronica competitions, Apollo 13’s best song might be their dance-punk pop hit “The Bomb”. But with that said, there’s plenty of sweet synth work and disco beats to keep it raw and unbridled. Fantastic catchy hooks are populated alongside gnarly melodic vocals and acid lines. Textures are thick with poppy rhythms and sweeping ambient synths. A popular outfit on Purevolume, and one that’s established themselves with the grand prize in the 2004 John Lennon Songwriting Competition for Dance/Electronica as well as an appearance in an XBox game, film trailer for “Eros”, and a Nike commercial, Apollo 13’s limit may only be the moon. - Smother Magazine

""Lovebomb" Album Review"

Fusing pop, rock and electronica allows new bands to get away with old-fashioned (e.g. meaningful) songwriting without sounding dated or uncool. All sorts of comparisons come to mind listening to Apollo 13’s new CD: Elvis Costello with a dance beat, Power Station, Cat Stevens, Deep Purple, even The Who (”Oh I can see for miles, but I still can’t find the end,” they croon in “No Sign of Land”). The band’s success on college-centric Purevolume.com and at getting video and game placements bears witness to its hipness.

The hard-rock screamer “The Bomb” leads into the smooth techno of “Interference,” followed by the melodic “Up Up & Away” which spreads 80s-style harmonies over a thumping dance beat. “Rollin’ On” takes on hard southern-rock, with Shannon Savoie’s amped-up tenor shredding the high notes. The slinky “Another Lovely Day” suggests Robert Palmer recorded underwater, “Grandiose Palaces” sounds like Queen meeting the Turtles, and there’s a bit of soul in “Landslide to Oblivion.” Yet there’s consistent melodic and lyric depth beefing up the clever creativity of the production.

Its songs interspersed with theatrical instrumental interludes, Lovebomb isn’t quite categorizable, yet it’s both modern and accessible. That’s a tough thing to pull off. These lines from “Rollin’ On” sum up Apollo 13’s union of the tried-and-true with the up-to-the-minute: “I’m a-rollin’ down this old highway / Gonna find me a brand new life / Well I’m a-rollin’ rollin’ on / Don’t bother checking your GPS system girl / ‘Cause I’m gone yeah.” - Jon Sobel

""Brave New World" Album Review"

Apollo 13 combine cinematic bombast, dark drum 'n' bass, emotionally wrought vocals, barbed guitar hooks and whatever else struck them at the time. The finished product, while not always cohesive, is invariably intriguing and arresting.

"Hero" rides along on droogish drums, quick and bruising, with cinematic sprawls of orchestra and a so-simple-it's-catchy spy guitar riff. Then comes Shannon Savoie, who sings with a range and purity generally unheard of in today's male vocalists. The song won first place in the Dance/Electronica category of the 2003 International Songwriting Competition and the 2004 John Lennon Songwriting Competition, and it's no wonder; as soon as it finishes, the compulsion to play it again kicks in. But you've got to move on -- otherwise you'd miss great songs like "Come to B.", which takes the opposite route, reeling off sweetly mellow ska replete with harmonized female backing vocals and a dancing bass line. Or consider "Lusitania", which starts out with the low push of a foghorn, then swings along on smooth acoustic guitar and loping bass. It also features some of the album's darkest lyrics: "Out here upon the ocean / where many have fallen. / Do I heed the warning / or press on undaunted / only to fall?" And then there's "Who'z Worried", which returns to the electronic/dance category with unintelligible vocal samples, an in-the-pocket funk guitar, on-point drums, and, best of all, a slap bass solo.

The album's only obvious weak point "I Spy", which suppresses the band's myriad influences for an unmemorable chord progression laboring under slightly distorted guitars -- compared to Apollo 13's other songs, it feels tossed together.

Although Brave New World sometimes feels more like a collection of singles than a proper album, that's not entirely bad. Each of these songs is radio ready in one form or another; think of it as a whole stack of hit singles, ultra-catchy and worthy of your immediate attention. - Tyson Lynn @ Splendid Magazine

""Lusitania" Song Review"

Dr. Strangelove gave a score of 8.5 / 10. Comments were:
Ooh chocolate and cheesecake this guy is good! I loved Hero but this, this is just devine. I love the singers voice, I love the instruments and the sheer musical genius behind every note. Folks Apollo 13 is now officially my favourite Consensus artist. Download it whilst you can. In fact no, go and buy the CD if there is one cause it'll be worth it. Anyone that can write music like this deserves your respect. My ONLY criticism is the sample at the start - I don't think it helps the song any.

Scoring: Songcraft: 9, Recording: 9, Freshness: 8, Vocals: 8.5, XFactor: 8 - The Consensus

"Show Description"

Part spy-movie soundtrack, part Lenny Kravitz-style glam rock and part John Mayer croon pop, Lawrence's Apollo 13 is the rare band that pulls off radio-friendly melodic pop with enough talent and originality to not induce groans. Composed of former Band That Saved the World members Shannon Savoie, Mike MacFarland and Will Dinkel and Yards drummer Danny Rojas, Apollo 13's ace-in-the-hole is local Wax Clash champion DJ Proof, who fills out the band's sound with digital sampling and scratching. Add to that unique audio-visuals and some sci-fi props and you've got the total ear-and-eye-candy experience. - lawrence.com

""Brave New World" Album Review"

Variety is the name of the game for Lawrence's Apollo 13, a four-person group composed of former Band That Saved the World members Shannon Savoie (vocals, guitar), Mike MacFarland (guitar, key, sampling/beats) and Will Dinkel (bass) as well as Yards drummer Danny Rojas.

Drum programming and spy-movie sound effects figure prominently into Apollo 13's diverse attack, which runs the gamut from alt-acoustic pop to alternative rock to funk and reggae/rocksteady. Excellent production values and smooth harmonies pimp out Xbox-friendly soundtracks that mix live instrumentation with piped-in samples.

The band's willingness to experiment is commendable but also accounts for a somewhat blurred vision. "Weapons of Mass Desctruction" recalls The Propellerheads with its James Bond-style surf guitar, big-beat drums and samples from the Apollo 13 flight, while "Who'z Worried" is a cluttered affair of funky drum breaks, gaudy wah guitars and slap-bass funk. "I Spy" could be a Lenny Kravitz out-take with its uber-distorted guitars and radio-ready chorus.

While all of the above songs are well-executed, the band seems much more at home when it strips away the gloss and uses more natural instrumentation. "Lusitania" is one such song - finger-picked nylon-string guitar, jazzy brushed drums and a smooth upright bass create a dreamy lullaby that uses the image of a sinking ship as a metaphor for personal struggles. "So Far, So Near" is another example with its Guster-meets-O.A.R. alterna-folk, and "Come to B." is a smooth rocksteady track that should please the Sublime contingent.

Clearly, Apollo 13 has the goods to take the listener on a smooth flight. But like its star-crossed namesake, the band needs to make sure it's in control of its technology if it doesn't want to get stranded in space. - Richard Gintowt @ lawrence.com


Lovebomb // LP // May 2006 // available online at http://cdbaby.com/apollo132

Brave New World // LP // Sept. 2004 // available online at http://cdbaby.com/apollo13

Songs "Brave New World" and "The Bomb" included in Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball MAX'D, available on XBOX

Trailer music for feature film "Eros" (Mike MacFarland)

Nike Lebron James "We are all Witnesses" commercial music (Mike MacFarland)



2006 MidPoint Music Festival Showcase
worldwide distribution through Super D/Phantom
1million+ purevolume.com plays
14,000 MySpace friends and counting
Sonicbids Featured Profile for week of May 1, 2006
Grand Prize Winner in Electronica in the 2004 John Lennon Songwriting Competition
Finalist in Dance/Electronica in the 2005 Independent Music Awards
First Place in Dance/Electronica in the 2003 International Songwriting Competition

In a world of iPods and attention-deficit disorders, it takes equal measures of adroitness, ingenuity and luck to make a name in today's fickle music business. We live in an age where malleable bands can actually reap rewards. It's finally a "good thing" to be an upstart act with an overactive imagination...

"We are venting something out into space." Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell Jr.

The space cadets in the five-piece, Lawrence, KS based Apollo 13 have pegged this famous distress call as their mantra. Eschewing industry pigeonholes, these boys have opted to throw the rulebook out the command module's cockpit window and release their sonic effluvium from all vents, hoses and fixtures. What does it smell like? It depends on your angle of approach.

From the bow you'll get a big whiff of Mike MacFarland and John Wirt's ultrasonic guitar rock, reminiscent of The Kinks and Lenny Kravitz. At the stern is the haze of MacFarland's sub-woofer pleasing electronic mixes, conjuring images of The Chemical Brothers and Massive Attack. Off the port and starboard you'll catch scents of drummer Danny Rojas and bassist Will Dinkel's R&B flavorings, steeped in the spices of The Roots and Mint Condition. Tingeing the entire odorous cocktail are the bombastic vocals of Shannon Savoie, the band's efficacious lyricist and frontman.

This olfactory mélange permeates the band's sophomore full-length album, "Lovebomb". Featuring an electro-rock vibe with hints of techno, pop and singer-songwriter flair, the disc doubly illustrates Apollo 13's maturity as song-crafters and applicability to today's mass-media markets. They are invariably comfortable in all modern musical venues: live performance, video games, feature films, television, etc. Listeners won't find it surprising that their material has successfully been placed in all of the above.

A valued ally in this cause is the 6th astronaut: the Apollo 13 digital studio. In fact, the studio is the elder, the band the progeny. Originally assembled by MacFarland and Savoie to cheaply preserve their musical musings, it began life as a discombobulated cabling mess, prone to malfunction (thus the naming reference to the similarly star-crossed NASA mission). With time and success came repairs and upgrades, eventually resulting in a finely tuned music-making machine.

The oft-elusive beast that is critical acclaim has not been a stranger. The initial pressing of "Lovebomb" was made possible by winning the Dance/Electronica Grand Prize in the 2004 John Lennon Songwriting Competition. The Apollo 13 trophy case also includes honors from the International Songwriting Competition and the Independent Music Awards. Internet denizens have joined the chorus as well, with recognition from esteemed music sites including purevolume.com, sonicbids and Onlinegigs.

Accompanying the album's release is an Internet and independent radio thrust. Live appearances throughout the Midwest are to begin in the heart of summer 2006, with tentative ventures to the coasts later in the same year. Tune all television sets and radio antennas to http://www.apollothirteen.com for up-to-date intelligence.