Sunday, November 18, 2007

Apples in Stereo - Hypnotic Suggestion EP

(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.


Donald Brown said...

all I can say is: listen to "Bugs" by Pearl Jam (on Vitalogy). Just do it.

Anonymous said...

However, the mix was changed for the CD comp, particularly the 1st EP trax. These two come off much better on vinyl, IMO. The EP has a lock groove end-sound, the drumming sounds different, etc.