The background: With Mona’s debut album getting so-so reviews, the Vaccines record underperforming, and Brother hardly becoming the stadium giants of their frankly unrealistic ambitions, it’s not been a vintage year so far for bands. Meanwhile, outfits from opposite ends of the sonic spectrum such as Wu Lyf and Odd Future are doing things differently, operating, notionally at least, more as collectives with music as just one aspect of their outputs. And the sheer plethora of singer-songwriters and solo performers, whether folk, country, grime-tinged or neo-soul, suggests the writing’s on the wall for the traditional four-square indie rock band.
But there’s Yuck getting rave notices, and now here come the History of Apple Pie, helping to keep the guitar/bass/drums unit alive. In fact, they’re mates of Yuck, or anyway Yuck have been saying nice things about them, and like their London counterparts they appear to have a similar reverence for late-80s US and UK rock. We’ve had the C86 revival, courtesy of Vivian Girls and, oh, too many to mention. Now it makes sense to move on to the 1987-8 revival as we approach the 25th anniversary of that period. We’ve read that they’re also influenced by 13-era Blur and Pavement, but that amounts to the same thing, because they, too, were born out of the dream melange of melody and noise as pioneered by Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr and My Bloody Valentine.
This isn’t quite clear from their debut single You’re So Cool, which incidentally was written about a schoolfriend (of theirs, not ours) who knew every word to the film True Romance. This one, in terms of clarity of production and vocals, nods more to 60s girl groups as per the C86 bands. It’s on B-side Some Kind that their 88-worship becomes apparent as a burst of guitar-noise like a revving motorbike leads into a tune that uses Dinosaur Jr’s Freak Scene – the Smells Like Teen Spirit of the pre-grunge generation – as its model, with an MBV-ish approach to dazed-and-confused, when-you-wake-you’re-still-in-a-dream sleep-singing from the two girls in the band, who play the Bilinda Butcher/Deb Googe roles to near perfection. On Tug, over a chugging rhythm and an overlay of solo guitar drizzle, “singing” becomes a series of gaseous, sibilant sighs. Woozy does it. We’re not sure about their name – it’s a bit twee – but the History of Apple Pie are giving bands a good name.
The lineup: Stephanie Min (vocals), Jerome Watson (guitar), James Thomas (drums), Kelly Lee Owens (bass, backing vocals), Aslam Ghauri (guitar).
The buzz: “Gloriously melodic slice of lo-fi noise-pop” – musicfansmic.net.
From The Guardian