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I initially wrote off The History of Apple Pie as one of those too-sweet-for-my-tastes indie troupes like Allo Darlin’, peddling twee ‘90s nostalgia. I think that was in part because of their truly dreadful name, and partly because of a 7” they did a year or two back which had an awkwardly cutesy photo of loved up teenagers on it.
I was right about them playing girl-fronted indie rock which is heavily indebted to the ‘90s but their sound is more varied than I gave them credit for. The opener of this album is a lot noisier and more shoegazey than I was expecting, reminding me of Evans The Death crossed with Cloud Nothings with obvious nods to MBV and Slowdive, but then on second track ‘See You’ they introduce a strangely American radio-style production which threatens to scupper the good work they’ve done on the opener with some cloying made-for-Dawson’s-Creek vibes.
In fact when they settle into the mid-paced power pop thing there are shades of ‘90s post-grunge stadium popsters like Feeder and Blink 182. But wait, they’re doing something I like again now, with some sweet Breedersy guitars over a wall of satisfyingly crunchy guitar fuzz and a simple guitar lead like Beezewax. I’m confused. Some of this is great and some of it is aiming for areas of pop-rock which I think are best left well alone. They’ve got great hooks but the songs seem to alternate wildly from Lush cool to Avril Lavigne embarrassing. Even so, tracks like ‘Tug’ and ‘I Want More’ and the Breeders-esque ‘Do It Wrong’ show clear signs that this lot have some decent songs in them and I reckon on balance there’s more than half a good album here.
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