London five-piece The History Of Apple Pie have been on the radar for two years now, sparking and sustaining interest with a steady but all too infrequent release of singles and music videos; at long bloody last they’ve given us a whole record of sunny fuzz pop to warm up our freezing January. Regardless of the slight incongruity of the wintry release date Stephanie Min, Jerome Watson et al have delivered ten tracks of sugary noise melodies and even manage to delve beyond into some exciting, albeit brief, realms of experimentation exhibiting some genuinely talented songwriting.
Not that the whole album is new of course: three songs – ‘Do It Wrong’, ‘Mallory’, and ‘You’re So Cool’ – have all been released as singles in the past couple of years. Most of those come in early too, as does the recent single ‘See You’, leaving the album potentially top heavy and putting pressure on the second half to be as memorable as the first. Longer five minute plus songs on other noise pop albums are usually trundling fillers that serve only to disrupt the rapid pace without offering anything interesting or new. THOAP prove they are finer and more accomplished than most by confounding this tendency. Both ‘I Want More’ and ‘Before You Reach The End’ drive with purpose, each replete with suave segues that meander in such a compelling manner that they quickly become the go-to tracks. With reverb turned to eleven, Thurston Moore-esque guitar flourishes and crunching feedbacked white noise they complement the buzzing first half beautifully.
The opening trio of ‘Tug’, ‘See You’ and ‘Mallory’ really do swoon but with an uncanny effervescence, coupling killer hooks with that satisfying shoegaze density. ‘Mallory’ in particular captures the advantages of lo-fi dissonance perfectly in cinjuncture with the impossibly catchy cooed refrain of “Mallory”. The daringly simplistic vocal melody does become repetitive by the 3:30 minute mark, a drawback, frustratingly, not to be found on the original ‘Mallory’ single where the overdubbed singing wasn’t present. ‘The Warrior’ and ‘You’re So Cool’ – an arresting ode to true love – swim dreamily in their own riffs but always with a tasteful sense of when to hold back on the effects so as to prevent becoming tiresome or monotonous. Watson and Min seem to just know when to change things up and alter the angle, a songwriting intelligence ably displayed with the insertion of the dirtier and garage-y number ‘Do It Wrong’ towards the end.
There is no shortage of bands that deal in bubblegum pop with more than a nod to the swirling effects of My Bloody Valentine, but there are fewer that can indulge in more experimental sounds without turning into self-parody. This album is an unusual snapshot of a band that have grown over two years – their newer songs are more intricate and multifaceted and the older tracks are no longer just straightforward pop tunes but pieces that fade into enveloping feedback a la Sonic Youth. There is so much evidence for growth. Seriously these guys are so much better than Veronica Falls.
Out Of View came out on 28th January on Marshall Teller Records. Below is the video for ‘See You’.
Dance Yrself Clean