& & by Mike Corrigan & & & &

The Apples in Stereo approach their craft with a lack of self-consciousness that is extremely rare these days. Free of smirking irony, downer sentiments and unafraid to chime on about love and flowers and rainbows at the drop of a big floppy velvet hat, the Apples mate the wide-eyed innocence of Brian Wilson and Jonathan Richman with the latter-day psychedelia of Redd Kross. That's a fair approximation of not only the Apples' sound, but of their lyrical sensibilities as well.

The Discovery of a World Inside the Moone is shameless, sunny guitar pop, a revisionist spin on those carefree pre-metal days before the summer of love and the complete corruption of rock and roll. From the very first horn and organ blast of the opener, "Go," you know that this is going to be just the escapist trip you've been pining for. Head Apple Robert Schneider is once again joined by the usual culprits including Hilarie Sidney, whose vocals provide a nice counter to Schneider's (she gets to sing lead on the terrifically fuzzy "20 Cases Suggestive Of..."). Pretty much everything from the '60s soundbook -- tambourine, mellotron, guitar tremolo, big, lush harmonies, etc. -- is put to expert use here in this tight, well-crated dozen.

The Apples are no paisley anachronism; they inject much-needed airiness into a postmodern landscape over-saturated by leaden pretensions. And though their music is likely to be overlooked, that doesn't seem to be a problem for the group (who seem quite happy with their loyal cult following). It's a problem for those of us too jaded, sullen and "serious" to allow these tunes to work their sweet, subtle magic.

Climate Science Saturdays @ Riverfront Park

Sat., June 19, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
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