Them Crooked Vultures
Monsters of Folk
Sweet Apple: Love and Desperation
Midway through their debut, Sweet Apple shows their true artistic colors on “Hold Me, I’m Dying.” Though the song’s souped-up rock is rowdy and bright, repeated references to that sentiment make it sound like the track might take a stab at sensitivity sooner or later. Turns out, that’s not quite the case, as two-thirds through “Hold Me,” vocalist/guitarist John Petkovic sleazily croons, “We’re dying/ So let’s fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck till we die.” This is a band out to fulfill primal, cheap pleasures, not do anything profound.
Ordinarily, there might not be anything wrong with that, in moderation, but when a band boasts members of Dinosaur Jr., Cobra Verde and Witch, you expect more. The garage rock act shows shades of brilliance (like the jubilant “Do You Remember”), but there are lots of missteps, like the awful falsetto that ruins “Dead Moon” and the derivative swagger that fuels “Flying Up a Mountain.” The wandering guitar solos do sound great, but they can’t make up for Petkovic’s uneven vocals, ineffective hooks and hokey lyrics about vampires, zombies and boozing up at age 6. If you view rock & roll as the indulgent, over-the-top spectacle AC/DC does, step up to Sweet Apple. Those out for something emotionally or sonically meatier should wait for another side-project to drop by. (Tee Pee Records)