Whatever you want to call it -- shoegaze or fuzz pop -- this record rocks and soars and delights.
This is Out Of View, the debut LP from London's The History Of Apple Pie and it's out on January 29 on Marshall Teller Records.
Vocalist Stephanie Min, guitarists Jerome Watson and Aslam Ghauri, bassist Kelly Owens, and drummer James Thomas have managed to distill a dozen somewhat-obvious (and worthy) influences into a coherent whole -- there's almost no wasted parts here.
Production from The Horrors' Joshua Third helps make this a delightful record -- one that will surely be in many Top 10 lists some 11 months from now.
It seems like ages ago that single "Mallory" dropped. A melange of swooping Velocity Girl-inspired riffs and Lush-style fuzziness, the cut is just a smile-making machine of post-C86 pop joy. It's here as a sort of anchor on this record.
"Tug" leads things off, all Curve-meets-Belly guitar-grinds. "See You" is that overlooked 4AD band Swallow trying its hand at being Black Tambourine.
"The Warrior" is a smooth and supple little number. Where other cuts here are a bit upbeat, if not downright perky, this one is more of an insinuating one and it builds, rising and falling through the great guitar work of Aslam and Jerome.
"Glitch" and "You're So Cool" are mid-tempo riffers held aloft by Stephanie Min's deliciously breathy and multi-tracked vocals.
"I Want More" glances in the Cocteau Twins' direction but aims forward, building a certain momentum amid the guitar-effects and vocal bits.
"Do It Wrong" crunches a Sleeper-like riff into new shapes, taking old pre-Britpop indie rock tropes into the 21st century.
"Long Way To Go" adds an acoustic guitar to the mix as the galloping beat leads things onward.
Closer "Before You Reach The End" features some guitar-freakouts from The Horrors' Joshua Third and it's a semi-epic of largely accessible noise-rock.
If the whole record doesn't quite bounce along like "Mallory" that's understandable as the band have clearly progressed a bit since that earlier single. Out Of View may not do something new but, like the first album from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, it takes wear-on-your-sleeves influences and crafts something memorable out of them.
Decidedly listenable, the debut from The History Of Apple Pie is a smart and sharp bit of near-shoegaze guitar-pop.
Out Of View will be released on January 29, 2013 on Marshall Teller Records.
Find out more about The History Of Apple Pie on the band's website:
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The insanely perky and catchy "Mallory" from The History Of Apple Pie. How can you not smile while watching this?