Mer De Noms

A Perfect Circle


Maynard talked about how Tool reflected his more "masculine" side and APC was more a reflection of his "feminine" side…and Mer De Noms shows that.  It's often times quite poigniantly beautiful, and "3 Libras" is the real highlight here, but unfortunately this general "sensitive" vibe kind of boggs down the album and becomes a bit too much at times.  It sounds like music for melodramatic sensitive goth-rock kids from the suburbs, and it's delivered with such lush production, so it sounds very pre-packaged and polished to these ears...sounds very much of the era...it's good for what it is, but I have a hard time relating to the overall vibe in my 30s quite honestly...and I'm kind of glad about that...


Thirteenth Step

A Perfect Circle


APC's 2nd album is a bit more dense and less accessible compared to the relative catchiness and streamlined quality of Mer De Noms…so it's a bit more Tool-like in nature, but it retains APC's trademark sensitivity and general lushness that characterized MDN.  And while there are no songs here as beautiful and soaring as "3 Libras" or as immediately impressive as "Judith", overall Thirteenth Step is a subtle improvement over their debut, mainly because their music dares to be somewhat challenging here.  It's less direct and accessible in it's approach, but no less pretty.  There's basically more depth to be found here, and the opening few tracks best convey that...Mer De Noms, pretty as it was, also had a certain radio-friendly and mildly generic stench about it, whereas Thirtheenth Step sounds more artful and progressive.  APC may very well have been on their way to being a great band (maybe...) but unfortunately they stopped just when they were starting to get interesting...so Thirteenth Step stands as their best album.


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