Her Wallpaper Reverie

According to Apples main man [B]Robert Schneider[/B], this record by one of America's most critically praised pop outfits is "less 'Sgt Pepper' than before, and more 'White Album'". Which is like sayi

According to Apples main man Robert Schneider, this record by one of America’s most critically praised pop outfits is “less ‘Sgt Pepper’ than before, and more ‘White Album'”. Which is like saying your new glass of water is a bit less wet, but a bit more liquid than before: its essence is irreducible.

The Apples In Stereo begin and end with The Beatles; when they’re going out on a limb, as on ‘Benefits Of Lying With Your Friend’, you can hear echoes of The Beach Boys singing Elliott Smith. Otherwise, it’s just The Beatles. From the shimmering jangle of ‘Strawberryfire‘ (oh yes) to the ‘Octopus‘ Garden’-like reverie of ‘The Shiny Sea‘. Harmonies? Beatles. Experimental squiggling? Beatles. Pastoral psychedelics? Beatles. They did it all, and they did it better.

Once this trifling genealogical detail is set aside, though, this collection of really quite sweet, accomplished songs becomes more appealing. There’s dissonant, plinky-plonk interludes called things like ‘The Significance Of A Floral Print’ that recall those of fellow ’60s travellers The Olivia Tremor Control. The dense grooves on the more swirly early half of the record, meanwhile, positively wriggle with mantric bliss. Even perky exercises in finger-snapping fun like ‘Ruby‘ fail to induce nausea due to the strangely infectious good vibes (garrrh!) that beam from every note here. To conclude, then: they get by. With a little help from their friends.

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