Indie Canon Inductee: The Apples in Stereo

30 Oct

16 years and still going strong.  And with a release in 2010, they now have albums released in three different decades.

Aside from their continuing staying power, the Apples in Stereo are to be recognized in particular for their earlier releases.

The Apples in Stereo’s first release in 1995, Fun Trick Noisemaker, is a lo-fi, psych pop treasure and one of my favorite albums of the 90’s.  It was also the first major release of the Elephant 6 Collective.  Robert Schneider (not to be confused with B-52’s Rob Schneider) effectively channels Brian Wilson in his melodies and adds a fun, poppy twinge with his manboy vocals.  I never really tire of this album thanks to tracks like “Green Machine” and “Lucky Charm.”

Tone Sole Evolution in 1997 is a very listenable follow up to Fun Trick Noisemaker though it doesn’t have the same air of start-to-finish greatness; there are some definite peaks, notably “Seems So” and “You Said That Last Night,” but there are also a handful of dips.  Most noticeable is the increase in production.  All in all, the album is above average and leaves the listener just shy of totally satisfied.

1999’s Her Wallpaper Reverie absolutely glows.  Released in the same year as fellow Elephant 6’ers Of Montreal’s The Gay Parade and The Olivia Tremor Control’s Black Foliage, The Apples in Stereo begin to experiment with tracking and trippy instrumentation.  The album is sprinkled with a sometimes playful and sometimes terrifying theme loop.  Schneider’s songwriting is at its tightest on this record in songs like “The Shiny Sea” and “Benefits of Lying (With Your Friend).” The album’s pinnacle, “Strawberryfire,” would easily find a place in my top 25 singles of the 1990’s.

Though their albums after Her Wallpaper Reverie are all okay and very accessible, they never quite garner the charm that these first three records do.  Also to be noted in this induction is front man, Robert Schneider’s, producing prowess.  On top of releasing some of the best records of the 90’s with The Apples in Stereo, Schneider also produced some of the best records of the 90’s in The OTC’s Dusk at Cubist Castle (one of the first reviews I wrote for the site), Beulah’s When Your Heartstrings Break and Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

One Response to “Indie Canon Inductee: The Apples in Stereo”

  1. xandimusic October 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm #


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