Touring in support of recent debut album, Out Of View, The History Of Apple Pie have certainly been causing a stir with their shoegaze and early-Nineties grunge-influenced sets. Not only have they been earning rave reviews from across the country, they have been hospitalising people too (a man fainted during their Manchester show). I arrived at the Bodega expecting very loud guitars and pounding eardrums. I left having experienced a very good gig, yet with my ears still functioning all too well.
There’s been a mini shoegaze revival in the British music scene over recent years, so when My Bloody Valentine returned, the question was how this would affect the current crop of shoegaze revivalists. What makes The History Of Apple Pie slightly different is that they rely less on guitar experimentation and are also incredibly adept at writing pop hooks in addition to the cacophony of reverb-drenched guitars.
These pop hooks are generally formed around the hypnotising vocal harmonies of front duo, Stephanie Min and Kelly Lee Owens. Early single ‘Mallory’ and the much more recent ‘See You’ were beautiful on the ears. The vocals drifted dreamily around the room and the guitars of Jerome Watson and Aslam Ghauri sounded very much like anything that Yuck — friends and fellow grunge-revivalists — could’ve written.
The only problem was that it sounded so… beautiful. It was as if the volume control had got jammed a quarter of the way up. I had expected a wall of sound. I had expected the walls of the Bodega to shake. I had expected to regret my decision not to wear earplugs.
Let me be clear though, this does not make The History Of Apple Pie any less of a band. They are all incredibly good musicians; I was mesmerised by Owens’ basslines, and they are very capable of writing fantastic songs. My personal favourite from the album, ‘Glitch’, was recreated perfectly onstage, and ‘I Want More’ sounded just as dance-friendly as on the album, complete with groovy Stone Roses-esque bassline.
So the gig ended and the band left to rapturous applause, as deserved. I’d be lying if I said they didn’t sound like the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Ride, or anyone else from that shoegaze era. However, there is enough about them, whether it’s the annoyingly catchy pop hooks or the charming vocal melodies, to ensure that they are crafting their own brand of this much done genre.
Good gig. Next time, a little louder please.
…Alex is listening to Iceage – ‘You’re Nothing’