Saturday, November 24, 2007

Apples in Stereo - Everybody Let Up

(Earworm, 2000)

Thanksgiving is over, but there’s another TURKEY in the house: this single! Ha! Ha! Oh, ha ha ha! It’s almost certain that I am the first person to ever make such a joke, so let’s celebrate my genius and wit with some grog! I will top off your stein. WHEW! Let me wipe the tears of mirth from my eyes before we continue.


There’s ample guitarfuzz here that hearkens back to the early days of the Apples, but the empty spaces in the A-side’s midtempo ode to laziness make it feel half-assed and unfinished. Lyrics were never the band’s strong point, and emphasizing the (similarly weak) vocals, as Apples in Stereo increasingly did, never did these folks any favors. “Behind the Waterfall,” while frustratingly brief, is definitely the better of the two sides, featuring a gentle, tripped-out verse with a ripping distorto-chorus. This would have fit especially well on Her Wallpaper Reverie, the group’s concept/psych high-point, and it’s a shame that it was booted to the B-side of a follow-up single.

Earworm did its typically careful job with the quality control here (thick colored vinyl, attractive fold-out sleeve), but given that both songs soon popped up on the domestic “Look Away” EP and the bargain-bin “The Bird That You Can’t See” single, there’s absolutely no need to pay high import prices for this release. Nor was there any pressing need to do so in 2000, when it first came out. And yet I did. Which is why I was (and remain) a total sucker and a record label’s best friend.

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