That name. The History Of Apple Pie. It’s either the worst band name ever, or – if you’re Liam Gallagher talking to NME a few weeks ago – actually pretty funny and kind of alright. “It’s meant to not mean anything!” the band’s chief guitarist Jerome Watson tells Radar by way of an explanation, before looking to his girlfriend (and frontwoman) Stephanie Min for back-up. “It sounds alright to me,” she says. “Also, it’s massively Google-able.”
The moniker is one of many kooky quirks (others include an intense video-game habit and – get this – making stitched fan-art of Nintendo characters) that help define the band. But it’s not what makes them truly idiosyncratic. While some guitar acts rush to get their tape reels in from the sun and soak them in production sheen, this east London five-piece are happy to keep the fuzz pedals switched on permanently and leave their grunge-pop rule-breakingly over-exposed.
It’s why they’ve become Yuck’s favourite new band. In fact, THOAP rely on a medicated sense of balance, letting hiss and feedback singe the edges of their well-crafted bubblegum shtick. Citing boredom, a year ago Jerome and Stephanie threw together their opposing tastes (him: alt.rock, her: mainstream US pop) and set about creating a noise to trump the likes of Vivian Girls and Best Coast as a British mutation of their own game.
“American guitars are good, but isn’t there that thing that America makes something and then Britain makes it better?” Jerome says of their plan. “British music that’s inspired by American music – I think that’s probably the best.”
With a Malkmus or Coxon-esque hint of ruffled charm, the guitarist speaks from behind a mop of black hair, the visual complement to his band’s escapist sound. A rapturous live proposition, they’ve already won the affections of everyone from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart to Tim Burgess. Next up, a mini-tour in support of their debut seven-inch ‘You’re So Cool’, which came out on Monday (June 27). It’s a deadpanned and supremely hummable love song evoking summer sweethearts, sun-dappled parks and baskets of OxyContin. And that name? Come on, it’s genius.
Need To Know
From: East London
For Fans Of: Pixies, Blur
Next Release: ‘You’re So Cool’ seven-inch on Roundtable
Next Gig: 1-2-3-4 Festival, London (July 9)
On NME.COM: Free download of ‘Science For The Young’
Believe It Or Not: Jerome worked as a runner for Top Gear, and once accidentally destroyed the set by driving a golf buggy into it