Growing up is messy business, a heady mix of happiness and hysteria, on Apollo Sunshine’s caterwauling Katonah. The Boston powerpop trio contemplate childhood through a raging hormonal cocktail of just-say-Yes progressiveness, a bottomless toy box of hooks, and an unhinged post-punk penchant for urgent sonic breakdowns and blowups. So when the Sunshine laid into “Happening” during their recent CMJ moment at the Mercury Lounge, guitarist Sam Cohen and bassist Jessie Gallagher strapped on bulky porta-strobes, while drummer Jeremy Black settled for a big evil mask. “This is finally happening!” they screamed, their maniac glee the psychic whiplash, perhaps, of a mother lost in a plane “when sky turned into skyscrapers.”
The rest of this emotional album bracketed by exotic elfin instrumentals (children of Elephant and Elephant 6) is nearly as good, if not quite as heavy. They sing of beautiful brothers and scorned uncles, of sleeping with your girlfriend in your childhood bed, of boring dope parties, of wanting to fuck your way back into the womb. It’s as though they were trying to remember everything about their past in order to expunge it in a cleansing rockgasm, balancing unlimited potential with potential failure.