The Apples In Stereo- New Magnetic Wonder (Simian/Yep Roc)

The Arts — By on February 5, 2007 at 4:25 pm

Does anyone aside from Robert Schneider really get psyched up for a new Apples In Stereo record? For the uninitiated, Schneider is the Apples’ core: leader, singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, and all-around indie rock nice guy (I also suspect he may be David Cross’s brother, but that’s a whole other article waiting to happen.). Since debuting with The Apples’ Fun Trick Noisemaker back in 1995, Schneider gave birth to the celebrated Elephant 6 collective- a loose association of bands that on the whole proved far more interesting than The Apples themselves (Of Montreal, Neutral Milk Hotel, Beulah, etc.). Schneider was there for them in the beginning- big brother to this motley bunch of eccentrics from around the country.

Now, the Elephant 6 is history (though the charming logo still lives on) and Schneider only has his own band to worry about. So, does this allow Schneider time to reflect on his art, songwriting, and production techniques thus inspiring a career defining album that places The Apples firmly at the forefront of indie rock circa 2007? Nah. He just serves us another poppy-yet-predictable platter called New Magnetic Wonder. Ah, but this time it’s Hobbit RockĀ©! That’s right, New Magnetic Wonder is the first release on Elijah Wood’s Simian Records. If the Shire makes ye wary, fear not: Wonder is chock full of catchy tunes that you’ll forget within 5 minutes interspersed with trippy little psychedelic bits for flavor (the “New” in New Magnetic Wonder might be the vocoder that is used on these bits). Honestly, if it weren’t for the slightly higher tech production, I’d swear this was a bunch of Tone Soul Evolution outtakes. If this sort of AC/DC-esque devotion to one particular style (in this case, psychedelic pop) is your thing, then come bite The Apples. For those of us who need a little more variety, we’ll just have to ramble on.

RATING (1-10): 5

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