Music » CD Reviews

The Apples in Stereo

Velocity of Sound (SpinArt)


As if there were any doubt after 2000's effervescent The Discovery of the World Inside the Moone, this short sugar blast is where Robert Schneider and his musical companions definitively transcend their '60s dream-pop niche. This time, they do it by copping the spirit of the hard retro-rock trend, compacting Schneider's high, nasal vocals and super-catchy tunes into fuzzy guitar speedballs so concentrated, even the song titles get cut to their romantic conceptual essence -- "I Want," "Mystery," "Baroque."

Since no '60s band ever smacked its bubble gum with this kind of brio, the disc's closest precursor is, oddly enough, the Ramones' debut, which tried to create boy rock as innocent as Phil Spector's girl-group pop. Velocity of Sound isn't half as revolutionary as that -- if anything, it shortchanges the world of recombinant ideas that the Apples explored last time out. But with two key tracks sung by Schneider's life companion, drummer Hilarie Sidney, and a mock Beach Boys "Bonus Track" snitching on a mean little liar, it makes the past sound as new as any sneering sing-along from our unholy retro-rock trinity, the Strokes, Hives, and White Stripes (amen).

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

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.