(Bus Stop, 1994)
Want to hear about something gross that happened this very afternoon? There I was, drinking my iced coffee at the local iced-coffeatorium, reading about celebrity tax evaders in New York City (John Cale, how could you?!), when I happened to glance down into my cup after a final, satisfied slurp. A sickening sight was to greet my eye: a BUG, a little black beetle of some sort, was resting there among the ice. “Gah!” I choked, and then noticed a second bug, this one a fat, inch-long, maggoty looking thing, sitting nearby. After spitting into a few napkins and the trash can, I took the evidence up to the counter and politely suggested the staff consider cleaning out the ice chest. The girl was suitably apologetic, and pulled five dollars in hush-money from the register. So the moral of the story is: drink bugs, get five bucks.
You know what would be similarly gross? Finding a worm in an apple that you were munchin’ on.
Hey, speaking of apples, I’m listening to a single by the APPLES in Stereo as I type this! Weird! What a great coincidence! What an ideal and totally unplanned segue! No, I’m not chuckling nervously; why do you ask? Let’s just talk about the record.
“Hypnotic Suggestion” is cleaner than the first single, but still has that trebly, grungy four-track sound. And while the lo-fi aesthetic remains in place, the songwriting is obviously increasing in complexity, with more ambitious vocal arrangements – the swooping and sighing backing vox on “Touch the Water” are especially satisfying – that hint at the Pet Sounds worship soon to blossom in the studio. All four songs are warm, bouncy guitar-pop, Robert Schneider & co at their simple best: rocking, catchy, fuzzy. A near-perfect 7”, and a perfect example of why Apples in Stereo was ever worth caring about.
The Science Faire album gathers up all of these early singles and loose ends, and remains a good place to sink a few dollars.