Published Sep 26, 2014On their 2013 debut, Out of View, the History of Apple Pie channelled '90s heroes like Blur and Lush into an effervescent slice of throwback guitar rock. Their sophomore follow-up, Feel Something, finds the London quintet trying to move past their influences as they morph into an identity all their own.
Previously a guitar-driven concern, here the band's rhythm section — drummer James Thomas and new bass player Joanna Curwood (original bassist Kelly Owens left the group last year) — and the addition of keyboards to the mix shift that focus, stealing some of the spotlight while adding rhythmic flair to tracks like "Keep Wondering" and "Tame." Freed from piloting each song, Jerome Watson and Aslam Ghauri let their guitars wander, peppering the songs with unique tones and fills. That's not to say that these disparate elements don't coalesce; songwriters Watson and singer Steph Min still known how to pen a hook. While not reaching the great heights of Out of View's best tracks, "Jamais Vu" and "Special Girl" in particular find each band member coming together to deliver walloping choruses.
The History of Apple Pie have no illusions that they're reinventing the wheel, but Feel Something should silence critics who dismissed the group as another example of record collection rock. It also reintroduces the idea that rock music can still be fun, something far too many of the band's contemporaries seem to have forgotten. (Marshall Teller)