Despite having one of the most ridiculous band names this side of Chumbawumba, The History of Apple Pie became one of the most-hyped buzzbands of 2012, with their astoundingly poppy style of noisy shoegaze and post-rock. There’s an ethereal nature to their sound, recalling the sugary charm of Deerhoof, but there’s a grounded levity too, a seriousness that delivers a blunt edge to the ballooning pop hooks and chirrups of fuzz that hits home with a thwack.
Their debut record, Out Of View, opens up with disjointed dial-up Internet scrapes in the fan-familiar ‘Tug’, before flourishing into a bouquet of expansive walls of Kitchens Of Distinction noise and sublime, chilled vocals from singer Stephanie Min. Bawling guitar melodies, rollercoastering up and down, solo endlessly beneath chugging bass and drums that just won’t quit, getting the album off to a fantastic start. ‘See You’ explodes into your ears like the final chorus of an ’80s hair metal anthem. It’s strongly melodic, and the tunes they weave together and the dripping lo-fi manic emotion of Yuck make for a very accessible cut. The band have in the past been compared to My Bloody Valentine and Dinosaur Jr. , but these comparisons are largely misguided – THOAP lack that “doomsday” feeling, and the ’80s grit – you’re more likely to find delirious glee and songs that make you want to simultaneously laugh and cry.
‘You’re So Cool’, about a schoolfriend who knew all the words to True Romance, gives off a dreamy Asobi Seksu vibe in the pitchy guitar riffs and radio-static backing vocals. It’s less shoegazey than other songs, and there’s a more straightforward indie-pop feel, with some fuzzy elements.’Mallory’ is home to one of the most singalong-able licks of recent years and is a glorious example of the band’s pop-laced style – there’s a distinct ’90s aura, like one of those nameless alt-rock anthems exploited in teen movies of yesteryear, just before nu-metal waltzed in and rapped over everything. ‘The Warrior’ unveils a rockier aspect they’ve been silently nurturing, with distorted chords crunching like tin foil beneath duelling vocal lines from Min and backing vocalist/bassist Kelly Lee Owens. There’s more angst, more passion and it’s about as dark as this album gets.
THOAP have built a popular and critically lauded sonic personality upon the foundations of classic shoegaze and noise-pop, edging in some contemporary influences but ultimately comprising of the best parts of a lot of legendary bands. Think of them as the most awesome patchwork quilt ever: various aspects, all different and from different places (maybe even “borrowed”) but as a composite of everything, it’s insanely rewarding and hand-on-chest incredible. Their first full-length doesn’t feature too many surprises, and a lot of the cuts have already been released in one way or another, but start-to-finish, it’s an honest conflagration of scuzz that will leave jaws agape, eyes moist and hearts full.