The Apples in Stereo – Velocity of Sound

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist

The Apples In Stereo are a band I always wanted to like more than I actually liked. I loved the Elephant 6 story and Robert Schneider was a fascinating weirdo, toiling away in his garage (or wherever), in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, with his $6 budget, trying to figure out how to make an album sound like it cost $100,000 to produce. I had owned and sold a bunch of their earlier stuff, all of it fitfully appealing. This was the album where Schneider finally did what I wanted him to – marry sugary melodies to fizzy guitars from start to finish. Guitarist John Hill is also a member of Dressy Bessy.

What I Think of This Album

This is the equivalent of a hypodermic needle filled with corn syrup, except it’s actually sugar because they didn’t use corn syrup in the ‘60s. The tempos rush by and the guitars are all pleasantly distorted and Schneider sings ridiculous lyrics that sound gleeful even when they are not (“Your friends hate my guts / They say that you’re nuts / For hanging out with me yeah”). There are some production tricks here and there, and synthesizers bubble up every now and then, but this is the most straightforward, least-experimental – and most fun – Apples In Stereo album ever. The songs jump out of the speaker, drill into your skull, and then disappear. The melodic counterpoint of the backing vocals on “Baroque” sounds, as the title implies, downright classical – in fact, both Robert Schneider and Hilary Sidney’s “ba ba ba”s are clearly substitutes for the French horns that would normally play such parts, and I love that. Bonus track “She’s Telling Lies” is the Beach Boys on speed. “Please” is a perfect opening track full of yearning and frustration, with a fantastic lead guitar part, while “That’s Something I Do” revels in its outsider status. Sidney gets much-appreciated vocal turns on the excellent “Rainfall” and the crunching “I Want,” each of which she either wrote or co-wrote.

The Best Thing About This Album

“Baroque” is the standout track here; I don’t care how derivative it is.

Release Date

October, 2002

The Cover Art

Excellent. The vaguely scientific artwork complements the nerdy album title perfectly. The placement of the artist and album info is clear and sensible. I don’t love the font for the band name, but it’s a small thing. The colors are great too, with a bold orange background and effective use of yellow and white.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑