Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Song Remains the Same-ish: The Apples In Stereo vs. Big Eyes

[This is a "series" that lets me point out when two songs sound really similar or something about one song reminds me strongly of another one, or something like that. Its frequency obviously depends on me finding these similarities, so who knows when it will happen again.]

Artist: The Apples In Stereo / Big Eyes
Song: "She's Telling Lies" / "Now That You Aren't Mine"
Album: Velocity of Sound / Hard Life
Label: Elephant 6 / Don Giovanni
Released: October 8, 2002 / August 23, 2011

This same-ish similarity snuck up on me. I've been listening to a lot of The Apples In Stereo lately because I went and saw The Olivia Tremor Control a few weeks ago and it was fucking amazing. I sat front and center, it was an awesome theatre, the band sounded great, they played for a long time, and I was incredibly lucky and went backstage to interview Will Cullen Hart after the show, also chatting briefly with Bill Doss and John Fernandes in the process. But that's really beside the point; I just wanted to mention it :-) Since then, I've had a renewed interest in all that is Elephant 6 and have been listening to a lot of albums from Beulah, of Montreal, OTC, NMH, and so on. I renewed my devotion for Robert Schneider and The Apples and, particularly, my affinity for Velocity of Sound, their emo-punk album. It is surprisingly good. Seriously.

Earlier tonight, I was listening to a new LP, from a newish band named Big Eyes, entitled Hard Life. I was enjoying the pop-punk ride, with quick and catchy guitar-heavy numbers, but then I got to track 10: "Now That You Aren't Mine". The opening guitar line reminded me of something … I couldn't quite place it just yet, so I played the first minute of the song again. I listened to the first verse and noted how it matched the guitar melody in pitch. Then I played it again. And once more. And then it hit me. This melody is almost exactly the same as the beginning of a random bonus track tune from Velocity of Sound! Playing the two songs back to back now, I recognize that the connection is a little stretched—the tempos are different, the guitar scuzz layers are different, the intro/ending of the melodies are different—but hey, this series isn't about finding identical songs, right? It's just about pointing out similarities, and I believe I've found two songs whose guitar riffs sound remarkably similar. (It's a little odd that the song titles are slant rhymes, too, isn't it?) What's weirder to me is that I was able to recall this Apples In Stereo tune just from this random guitar riff, considering it's a non-standard-issue bonus track. Luckily, I've listened to this album four or five times over the last three weeks, and that I was pointed to this Big Eyes album earlier today via a message board I frequently read. Huzzah, serendipitous coincidences!

So, see for yourself! Do they sound alike? Am I making shit up? Tell me! (Seriously, tell me …)

The Apples In Stereo / "She's Telling Lies (Bryce's Mix)" / Velocity of Sound [Elephant 6, 2002]

Big Eyes / "Now That You're Not Mine" / Hard Life [Don Giovanni, 2011]


By the by, this Big Eyes LP is awesome pop-punk. Check it aht. Also The Apples In Stereo are one of my fave bands of all time. VoS is good, Her Wallpaper Reverie is great, and Fun Trick Noisemaker is a fucking masterpiece.

Big Eyes on the web: Blog / Bandcamp / Facebook / Twitter
Buy Hard Life: Don Giovanni Records / Insound / Amazon / iTunes / eMusic

The Apples In Stereo on the web: Website / Facebook / Twitter
Buy Velocity of Sound: Amazon / iTunes / eMusic

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