Editors' pick

Apples in Stereo

Indie
'

Editorial Review

THE APPLES IN STEREO
Album Review: "Travellers in Space and Time"
THE GENERATIONALS
Album Review: "Con Law"

Once known for a '60s-pop fixation, the Apples in Stereo have inched their time machine a few years forward. The Denver sextet's "Travellers in Space and Time" is a sci-fi voyage through early-'70s pop-rock and pop-funk. Where singer-songwriter Robert Schneider used to channel the Byrds and the Beach Boys, he now emulates ELO and Todd Rundgren.

The original lineup's only surviving member, Schneider has never attempted to transcend his influences. But he does have lots of fun with them, matching playfully cheesy sonics -- including lots of vocoder -- to dead-certain melodies. ELO's Jeff Lynne may do a double-take at "Told You Once," but most listeners can just sit back and enjoy the liftoff.

There are only two Generationals, former Eames Era singer-guitarists Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner, yet they can sound like a full house. The New Orleans duo's debut album, "Con Law," was recorded in Washington, and its folkier tunes don't evoke the Crescent City. But the group, which Apples' Schneider picked to open this tour, turns funkier when supplemented by horns and backing vocals. On the gritty-sweet "When They Fight They Fight," the twosome shows more than a little bit of soul.

-- Mark Jenkins, Weekend (April 2010)