I’m finally on my last leg home from Charlotte to Buffalo; time for one more Colorado-inspired album to end the journey on. By now, though, I’ve had my fill of banjo’s and fiddles so I’m moving onto something a little more, well, shall we say ‘contemporary’. Specifically, I’m going with the debut album by psychedelic pop and indie rock band The Apples in Stereo, ‘Fun Trick Noisemaker’.
The Apples is largely the brain trust of lead vocalist/guitarist Robert Schneider, and the band is closely associated with the Elephant Six Collective, a group of bands also including Neutral Milk Hotel and The Olivia Tremor Control. Their sound is reminiscent to the psychedelic rock of the Beatles and the Beach Boys during their heyday in the 1960’s, as well as having some nods toward the Electric Light Orchestra and Pavement. How’s that for eclectic? Perhaps you might know the band from their appearance in a Powerpuff Girls music video performing their song ‘Signal In the Sky (Let’s Go!)’ which aired immediately after the shows 7th episode on Season 4, ‘Superfriends’. Personally, I missed that one. However, they have also made appearances on The Colbert Report, Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, and Carson Daly’s show, whatever it was called (it’s not like anybody actually watches it). Oh, and they even recorded a song for the children’s show Yo Gabba Gabba.
Anyway, all that shit aside this particular album was recorded in Schneider’s home studio in Los Angeles and released in 1995. Despite the rather lo-fi recording value, this album remains as one of the most lauded albums in their catalog. Perhaps the reason is Schneider’s attempt to channel other notable producers such as Phil Spector and Brian Wilson in recreating his own “Wall of Sound” (which is the perfect complement to the “Wall of Fart” released into the plane’s cabin courtesy of the sick bastard beside me) production technique. Several tracks (particularly the opening track ‘Tidal Waves’) have as many as ten guitars playing at one time. Other awesome tracks include ‘Glowworm’, ‘Winter Must Be Cold’, and ‘Love You Alice/D’. To boot, I’ve also managed to secure the two tracks ‘Shine (In Your Mind)’ and ‘Thank You Very Much’, which were originally only available on the Japanese release of the album.
So as I swooshed through the sky at 34,000 ft., playing peek-a-boo with the little girl in the seat ahead of me, I rocked out pretty much up to landing in Buffalo thus ending my Colorado trip. EZ-Boy recliner, here I come!