THE APPLES IN STEREO

"Velocity of Sound"

SpinART

The Denver quartet Apples in Stereo's latest release is almost as efficient as an early Ramones album. "Velocity of Sound" barnstorms through 11 catchy bubblegum-grunge tunes in less than 30 minutes.

Of course, the Ramones were a revelation in 1976, and the Apples aren't. Singer, guitarist, producer and principal songwriter Robert Schneider specializes in British Invasion-style romps, albeit with dirty guitars and occasional synth blurps to reassure us that he knows it's not 1965. These days, the Apples don't even sound all that different from rhythm guitarist John Hill's other outfit, Dressy Bessy. (The latter has a female singer, but on this album Schneider's voice is so high-pitched that it's hard to distinguish it from drummer Hilarie Sidney's.) If elementary retro-rockers like "She's Telling Lies" and slightly more elaborate flashbacks like "Baroque" sound a little too familiar, they're too vigorous to be mistaken for antiques.

-- Mark Jenkins

Appearing Wednesday at the Black Cat with Oranger. * To hear a free Sound Bite from the Apples in Stereo, call Post-Haste at 202-334-9000 and press 8110. (Prince William residents, call 703-690-4110.)

The Apples in Stereo live up to the name of their latest CD.