Apollo Ghosts’ 2012 album, Landmark, is like a pack of bitter Skittles that you consume one after another until they are finished, and then you’re sweetened. It is the kind of album that you sing along with before you even know the words, but soon you will know them because you will have listened to them fifty times in a row.
The album opens with irresistibly anthemic “What are Your Influences?” This song sets the tone, which is essentially a series of anthems for people who are under pressure to succeed, but always feel like average Joes. Even the break-up slow-jam, “So Much Better When You’re Gone,” relates a familiar kind of post-love pressure over who will be more happy or less angry.
Competition and pressure to succeed are relatable kinds of troubles that are well-suited to the band’s American-pie style of rock and roll. Apollo Ghosts’ style sounds like a happy kind of pop from the past that has made it to the present, slightly weathered and a little jaded.
Landmark offers vindication for averageness and the pleasure that comes from getting along, living your own life and not worrying about it. The final track, “Will You Forget Me,” a song about what happens to a person after they’re dead, offers this strangely poignant comfort: “There’s no memory at all, there is an island.”