Made up of four powerhouse members: Kevin O’Donoghue (Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar), Joshua Knibbs (Lead Guitar), James Gunn (Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals) and Daniel Ansell (Drums, Backing Vocals), Apex Sun are an Alternative Rock band formed in Portsmouth in 2016. They cite their influences as bands from the likes of Feeder, to Weezer and the Foo Fighters, creating meaningful anthems with dazzling guitar, vocal melodies and foot-stomping rhythms.
Sunrise is the self-produced, debut EP from Apex Sun released in 2018 to the delight of their growing fan base. The project features five engaging tracks with varying themes from self-reflection to self-expression, and a live performance feel that allows the listener the opportunity to experience their music although they were right there with them.
The song begins on a somewhat “Beatles-y” note, with a guitar and drum-led intro, followed with the scathing phrase: “ignorance has always been your best attribute.” Quite contrary to what one might expect from a rock song with such a title, ‘Bitter’ sports an uptempo chorus with a head-banging rhythm. The lyrics present what seems like a self-reflecting Kevin (Lead vocals), recounting the not-so-pleasant qualities of his former other half, but coming to the conclusion that bad though his ex may have been, they are indeed both human, and as such, imperfect. “I’m not bitter, I’m no better than you,” the chorus commences, to a melody reminiscent of the similarly themed single from 2009: ‘So Human,’ by UK Rapper Lady Sovereign, a song that heavily sampled 1985 hit ‘Close to Me’ by Rock Band, The Cure.
‘Never Going Home’
As the title of the second track on the EP might suggest, ‘Never Going Home’ is a care-free party anthem that encourages listeners to key into their ability to live in the moment and thoroughly enjoy themselves. “If you feel it coming through and you don’t know what to do, you’ve got nothing to lose… we’re not going home tonight… we’re never going home tonight.”
Even more uptempo than ‘Bitter,’ this is a real feel-good track for those looking to let loose.
In an unexpected turn in feel, the band deviates drastically from their light-hearted, catchy and toe-tapping theme, offering a more moody and emotionally engaging journey in ‘Destiny.’
The most dynamic of the 5 tracks, it offers almost two songs in one, switching to a beautiful guitar-led interlude before crashing in once again with the powerful chorus: “I know you wouldn’t want it any other way, we’re fighting off fate and finding our destiny.”
‘Point of View’
Giving listeners a much needed injection of energy following its downcast predecessor, ‘Point of View’ features a punchy and rebellious melody, and some equally rebellious lyrics: “I don’t pretend to understand the world, I’m just living day by day.”
Treating their fans to another interlude displaying the Band’s impressive technical guitar skill, the song boasts a rough-around-the-edges vocal performance, truly solidifying the idea of the song: “This is my opinion, sorry, not sorry.”
“You’re wasting time chasing the finer things in life, welcome to… welcome to my point of view.”
Developing from a stripped-back and sullen tune, “Deserve” emerges into a full-bodied chorus that speaks on the importance of appreciating one’s self, and not compromising on one’s dreams. An issue that every artist, and most certainly every person, will face at least once in their lives, the highly relatable and mellow anthem, offers a motivational mantra to whoever hears it:
“You’ve been giving up on yourself, but you’re a fighter, a soul survivor. Be brave… be strong… and show ‘em that you belong… will you follow your calling… or will you trade it all in, and give it up for something lesser than what you deserve?”
Undoubtedly the most heart-felt offering on the EP, from the lyrics, to the composition and vocal performance, It’s no wonder it’s the most popular track according to Apple Music.
As a whole, ‘Sunrise’ does a great job at presenting the most poignant aspects of who Apex Sun and what they stand for. A conscientious bunch with a penchant for the philosophical, Apex Sun tells their listeners that they are who they are, and they won’t apologise for that. With not a meaningless lyric in earshot, the themes of the EP encourages fans of the Band to follow in those footsteps, reminding us all that whilst one should never compromise on who they are, there’s always a little room for self-reflection and growth.
2019 will see the band return to the studio to pen their latest, unnamed single whilst playing as many gigs as their vigour will allow. Catch them on the 15th June at Crush Live’s next gig. Tickets and more info here: bit.ly/ROADTRIP1506.
Written by Ruth S.