Stolen Apple – ‘Wagon Songs’   Leave a comment

Stolen Apple, an alternative rock band, combining proto-punk with gritty 90’s American rock, with sonic traits, originate from Firenze and all over the globe. Composed of ex-members of Stout, Malastrana, Nest, Subterraneans and Valvolus, ‘Wagon Songs’ is their first album in 3 years.

Following on from ‘Trenches’ (released on Audioglobe and Clearspot), ‘WS’ is a natural progression for the band, whilst retaining their original signature. Symbolising forward movement, to greater awareness, ‘WS’ aims to illustrate the continued existence of the underground creative arena and how people have largely lost sight of it. ‘WS’ was released on 21st February 2020.

Suicide – Seamless intro. Easing into the rhythm, it’s a laid-back track, with a loose structure and a relaxed vocal style. Stylistically, echoing Duff Mckagan’s ‘Loaded’. Quite bluesy, in its way, with that alt rock, indie twist. Stays consistent, throughout. A good chill-out track, with an easy vibe.

Renegade Sun (Brexit) – Faster, more upbeat stuff. More flamboyant vocals. Clear punky emphasis. This one rolls along just as easily and with a bolder feel. Good cohesion, tight band chemistry and it’s a very open-hearted, free sort of track, just sailing on, smoothly, till the end.

It’s Up Your Mind – Coming in effortlessly. Echoes of 90’s Brit rock, with an alt flavour. Instant indie vibe, spoken word elements dominating. Quite a distracting style, the beat stays the same. Backing vocals entering, later in the track, it’s mostly told in a narrative form. Perhaps a little repetitive, but it’s well performed and confidently delivered, in a continued nonchalant manner.

Masturbation – Stronger, twangy riff intro, (forgive the pun), slightly enigmatic lyrical style. More involved riffs, slightly fuller accompaniments, a brief, but demonstrative track. Enough said.

Out Of Fashion – Deeper, but gentler riff intro, bringing in a gradual drum beat and another mysterious vocal aspect. Nirvana-esque hints and an emerging psychedelic ambience. Rocking it up a bit, before disappearing into an enveloping format and then returning to the rockier sounds and the alt themes. The rhythm moves in and out, continuously folding into and out of itself, flowing on, in that way, till the end.

A Looking Behind Kid – Warm, soft intro, with distant shore waves integral. Harmonica and acoustic riffs inter-play, with the softer vocals, in a Dylan-esque form. Slower beat, with a profound sense to the track. A quiescent beauty threads its way through the sounds, in an almost spiritual way. Inviting you to slow down and stop a while, it’s a respite, of sorts.

Tattoo – Picking things back up again, a disco mood permeates this. Faster pace, Arctic Monkeys-esque stuff, strongly echoing ‘I Bet That You Look Good On The Dance Floor’, it’s a short, but punchy track, with superficial overtones, further emphasised by the stop-start sections.

Passion – Plucky opening riffs, feeling their way in. Ominously creepy vocals. A bit more overtly psychedelic, in tone and form. The narrative thread returns, before bursting into life, with a full on electric section, echoing the flower power theme. More stop-start stuff and it’s starting to sound a tad leerily suggestive). Everyone joins in with the vocals, as the rhythmic melody soaks up the rest of the track. Coming to a sudden end.

Easier – Simply strummed chords intro, before it moves into a sinister melody, with a quicker pace. Affecting atmospherics, I feel like I’m being stalked. Gaining ground, as it speeds up, slightly, more involving cymbal hits do their thing. More rhythmic than anything else. A complex labyrinth of flash-points and meandering routes, it’s a symbolic song, demonstrating the intricacy of life well. Eventually, slowing down, into a looser groove, very lounge rock, in essence. The bass underlining the finale.

Overall – Ever wondered what a florid LSD trip, at Woodstock, back in the 60’s was like? So have I. Well wonder no more, cos you’re about to find out. ‘Wagon Songs’ is possibly, the closest approximation to such an experience. It’s a flowy, psychedelic album, with tinges of deep groove, alternative aspects and indie shades and all the time, a pervading sense of being pulled, continually, in and out of a game of consequences. Mysteriously enigmatic and intriguingly experimental.

7/10 *******

For fans of Dan Reed Network, Lou Reed, Purson, Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, Kaiser Chiefs, Duff Mckagan, Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground, The Kooks.

Posted March 24, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

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