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QUICK SPINS: The Apples In Stereo, The Field Auxiliary

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 20, 2010 8:20PM

In which we take a quick look at a few recent or upcoming musical releases.

The Apples In Stereo
Travellers in Space and Time

2010_04_ais_tisat.jpg Robert Schneider, frontman for The Apples In Stereo, must be feeling restless lately. He's usually known for crafting super shiny power-pop so sharp it cuts, but recently he's made a few interesting detours. Just a few months ago he released the loud and sprawlingly psychedelic Buddha Electrostorm through his side project Thee American Revolution. And now he's releasing an album of electronically tinged dance rock through The Apples In Stereo.

Travellers in Space and Time is an interesting direction for Schneider to pursue, and while it would seem his talents for finding the perfect hook would translate well to the dance genre, the experiment is not wholly successful. The first few tracks provide a bit of a happy rush, but as the album drags on songs become difficult to distinguish from each other. When the album closes almost an hour later you're left with no lasting impressions of any individual tracks, which argues that this enterprise would have been better served as an EP or a series of singles. There are a few fun tunes here but taken as a whole the album is wearying.

The Apples In Stereo play Lincoln Hall April 30

The Field Auxiliary
The Mass Ordinary or Don't Come Unwound Windwaker

2010_04_field_auxiliary.jpg The Mass Ordinary or Don't Come Unwound Windwaker began as a solo project by local musician Dan Smart, but over fourteen months in and out of the studio it grew into a more sprawling effort sucking in talented collaborators from the Chicago scene that would ultimately coalesce as debut from The Field Auxiliary.

The group pulls in influences from all corners of the musical map, mixing pastoral reflections with hard-charging foot stompers and wheezy ruminations that sound as if they were dug up from under a barn floor. They keep you on your toes, they do.For instance, on "Broke" throw a galloping bit of fuzzed out '60s pop your way and then allow it to melt into the spooky instrumental interlude of "Postlude: The Mass Ordinary (Here Comes Everybody)" before easing into the slowly building sing-along of the album closing "Shame's Voice (Needless)." Through all of this the band displays a deep understanding of pacing that draws you into the music's warm embrace without ever allowing you to become bored. Looks like the fourteen months spent crafting this debut was time well spent since we envision it spending an extended period of time on our own stereo enjoying its contents.

The Field Auxiliary plays Beat Kitchen April 21