Friday, May 30, 2008

The Apple War Has Begun

Sometimes a band can really surprise you. After you do this long enough, you pretty much know what to expect. When you hear a specific influence listed in a band's bio, you can almost guess what their album sounds like. Well, I have finally found a band who broke that mold. Seattle's The Apple War have created one of my favorite CD's in quite some time. The newly self released debut, Alarm Bell City, states Brit rock influences and while they are indeed evident, they are not close to what you may expect.

When I listened to this album, I expected to hear the latest incarnation of U2 and Radiohead. If you listen close enough, of course you will hear fragments of both of those bands. However, you will also hear unexpected things, such as elements of free form jazz, multi-layered vocals, organ and xylophone.

There are definitely some obvious singles, such as the infectious "Psycho Stepper," "Fifteen-Sixteen" and "Alarm Bell City." However, there are some much more ambitious songs, like the constantly changing "All Signs Point To Yes (Try, Try, Try)" and the previously mentioned jazz interludes of "Everybody's Sayin'."

The band never hits you over the head with anything. The album really is a beautiful listen that is a lot more quiet than you would expect. Due to that, this is not a disc that you can absorb in a quick listening session. It takes repeated plays to catch all of the subtleties that the band sprinkled through out and you really get out of it what you put in. Isn't that what music is about anyway?

The Apple War - Psycho Stepper

mp3: Fifteen-Sixteen
mp3: Psycho Stepper



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