Tuesday, January 29, 2013

REVIEW: The History of Apple Pie - Out of View

Guitarist Jerome Watson and vocalist Stephanie Min began The History of Apple Pie as a bedroom project, posting their output on Myspace.  When their songs attracted attention from labels and agents, they added members and a proper band was born.  Although attracting considerable buzz, the five-piece took its time to refine its sound and work on songs, while releasing the occasional single to meet the demands of a growing fan base.  And now, in the form of the ten-track Out of View, it is time for the coming out party. Or, if you will, to take the pie out of the oven.

The first thing that should be understood about this album is that quick and simple assumptions and comparisons are likely to be wanting, if not false.  Despite the group's name, the poses in some of the promo photos, and the sugary vulnerability of Min's lead vocals and Kelly Owens backing vocals, this group is no twee fuzz pop band (although "You're So Cool" (video below) is, undeniably, a pop song).  And yes, the sound reflects a respect for Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Ride and Lush.  But the major chords, energy, pace, and those sweet vocals again, provide distance from those rock ancestors.  So, while tracks like album opener "Tug", "Do It Wrong" and "Glitch" burnish the band's reputation for shoegaze and distortion, tracks like "See You" and "Mallory" illustrate that the reality of The History of Apple Pie is more complex.  And more entertaining.

The album's second track, "See You", has been released as a single, and is my current favorite --

If the listener isn't all-in after "Tug" and "See You", the poppy 'dance-gaze' of "Mallory", which also was released as a single, should seal the deal.  It serves as a summary of the album: Melody, noise and energy in an appealingly sweet package.

"Warrior" and "Glitch" ably demonstrate the band's rock chops.

The History of Apple Pie is based in London.  The complete line-up is Stephanie Min (vocals and guitar), Jerome Watson (guitar), James Thomas (drums), Kelly Owens (bass and backing vocals), and Aslam Ghauri (guitar).  Out of View is out today, January 29, on Marshall Tell Records.

Twitter ( @thoapband )

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