THE BLACK APPLES: THE BLACK APPLES

February 18th, 2011 | Album reviews

Shawn Malone

The Black Apples “Mutiny On”
(from their self-titled lp out now on Albino Crow)

The Black Apples use two drummers to span the gap between the Sonics at their most primitive, Dick Dale at his blistering best and the brotherly harmonies of the post-Pet Sounds Beach Boys. Their new self-titled LP is surprisingly technical, given their raucous live reputation—you won’t have expected the more delicate tracks, decorated with violins and finger-picked nylon-string guitars. “Coming Home” starts out with twenty heavy seconds of toms and kick drum, and then detours into harmonies and hooks decorated and a countermelody tinkling out of a xylophone. “Give Me Silence” begins as a pretty ballad with Four Seasons-y falsetto, stopping and restarting halfway through with backwards-effected violins (or maybe guitar?) to return to “Be My Baby” drums and arpeggiated flutes woven through the densely arranged finale, making the song more like something from Rubber Soul than Children of Nuggets. The rock ‘n’ roll is still there, though—“Diggin’ Dirt” is filled with crunchy guitar tones wailing over the drummers (plural!) pounding on the snares; signature “Where The Wild Things Go” opens with a roaring clipping sound, giving way to bass and ear-searing vocals and a crazy creepy apex with xylophone dribbling over a frantic hook. This record reminded me that even the Troggs liked to make pretty things sometimes.

Kristina Benson