Music » CD Reviews

CD Review: The Apples in Stereo

#1 Hits Explosion (Yep Roc)

comment

What's a poor Beatles fanboy to do, 'cept to play in a rock 'n' roll band? That was the question Rob Schneider and pals faced more than a decade ago when Schneider founded the Apples in Stereo, dedicated to a snazzy synthesis of the Beatles' accomplished, psychedelicized-but-concise craft (later picked up by disciples like the Electric Light Orchestra), the sunshiney tones of the Association and the Cowsills, the Buzzcocks' irreverent punk-pop and dabs of My Bloody Valentine's surreal fuzz 'n' noise. #1 Hits collects choice songs from the band's decade-plus recording history. Sonic hallmarks include crunchy and fuzzed-out guitar; steady, snappy beats; candy-sweet, perky, la-la-la/ba-bap-ba choruses; and Schneider's earnest, reedy, ever-so-slightly sarcastic vocals. The Apples' songs are about the joys of your stereo, Stephen Colbert and the Power Puff Girls. They're nothing if not consistent, which works both for and against them: Taken whole in a single sitting, many of the songs tend to blur together. But in judicious doses, Hits is the aural counterpart to a glass of ice tea on a sweltering day. The giddy "Energy" and the ska-flavored "Go!" ooze pop smarts and sly exuberance. The wiry, trippy "Tidal Wave" tears from the speakers like Sells Out-era Who, and "Please" is the best Buzzcocks song that never was. The Apples in Stereo embody the zen of a "yeah, yeah, yeah" chorus, bless 'em. — Mark Keresman

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.