Blue Apple Boy - "Salient"
(Edgy Records 2002, CD)
From Aural Innovations #20 (July 2002)
From Newcastle in the UK, Blue Apple Boy play quirky, whimsical, heavy rocking pop music, sometimes embellished by space synths and always with a sophistication that puts them in the prog rock realm. There's a connection with a band called Sleepy People if that strikes a note of recognition with any of you. Blue Apple Boy consists of Paul Hope on guitar and vocals, Rachel Theresa on keyboards, flute and vocals, Adrian Bailey on bass, Graeme Swaddle on drums, and Tiny Wood on lead vocals. Salient is their first full-length after having released a couple of CD singles.
"Who's The Calling" opens the set and is something of a space pop tune. Blue Apple Boy kick out fiery whimsical rock with a bit of a Ska feel and excellent contrasting male and female vocals. But there's also freaky UFO space synths briefly embellishing the music, and I really dig the steam engine bass. "Hangbar" is similar but with a punkish edge and more overtly spacey synths and atmospherics. "Dead Man Walking" is another solid rocker, but with a dreamy ambience and a nice flute sound that works well with Blue Apple Boy's music. "Leave The Mud For The Worms" is one of my favorite tracks, being a heavy rocker with bashing guitars and classic prog rock keyboards. "Sunshine Valley Paradise Club" is representative of several of the tracks. It's alternates between hot dancey pop, dreamy atmospheric segments, and hot searing guitar rock combined with wild synths and more flute. A couple tracks go into completely different territory. "The Moon Is Hungry" has kind of a 60's pop-psych/jazzy sound. And "Apples & Pears" seems to be Blue Apple Boy's idea of being experimental.
In summary, at it's core Blue Apple Boy may be a pop band, but there's way too much happening here for it to be too radio friendly. Excellent accessible songs played by a tight band with a nod to progressive rock and a wee bit in the cosmos.
For more information you can visit the Blue Apple Boy web site at: http://www.blueappleboy.co.uk/.
Contact via snail mail c/o Blue Apple Boy; PO Box 613; Newcastle; NE99 2WN; UK.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz