The Apache Relay
[Rating: 3.5 stars]
Nashville band The Apache Relay makes its formal introduction with sophomore album American Nomad. In 2009, they self-released their first album, 1988, under the moniker Michael Ford, Jr & the Apache Relay. Now, the quartet seems to be thinking more about becoming a household name. The title American Nomad implies a band that can’t be pinned down easily. While most of the songs fall into the folk-rock category, the album still displays an impressive range, including the Motown-inspired “Watering Hole.” A cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “State Trooper” features a tense buildup and sharp breakdown, with frontman Ford’s earnest delivery holding everything together. Lush instrumentation shines on songs such as “Sets Me Free” and “Mission Bells.” Violinist Kellen Wenrich is a strong point, particularly on the title track, a manifesto for wandering souls. Album closer “Some People Change” is a warm, sweet ending to the latest installment in what could shape up to be a long career. Bands’ lifespans may vary, but Ford sings like he’s in it for the long haul.