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The Black Apples at the Silver Lake Jubilee, Sunday May 22nd,2011

On Sunday afternoon, when the sun was still high, the five guys from The Black Apples built a very psychedelic sound at the Silver Lake Jubilee, with wild screaming, high-pitch vocals, sometimes breezy with some aaaahhhs, and a lot of percussion. The three or four guitars they were playing, depending on the songs, were enough to make this dense sonic wall, surfing at times, always in the soul-garage rock range if we have to categorize their music.

Lead singer Andrew Scarborough was sometimes playing guitar or using a drum in front of the stage, like a second drum set, a tendency I have seen a lot lately.

I guess they are drawing their inspiration from a large range of bands since their sound is anchored in the 60s psychedelic surf rock, never being too adventurous or too sinister despite the adjective ‘dark’ in their name. The band is fronted by two brothers Campbell and Andrew Scarborough, who are originally from Colorado, but have found a new home for their psych rock in Los Angeles, and more precisely Echo Park, like many other bands.

They tried to play a new song, and Andrew, with a certain pessimism said, ‘We may fuck it up!’,… and they effectively gave up at playing it after 3 false starts, but they tried another new song they managed to play as if they had played it forever.

There was some subjacent Spaghetti Western vibe on certain tunes, it must have been the surfing guitars and the Mexican bag hung on the drum, or at least some kind of sonic atmosphere associated with the wild west, and one of their song, ‘Diggin’ Dirt’ has that Jefferson Airplane’s ‘White Rabbit’ feeling, without the female vocals.

It was reminiscent of the past without any nostalgia, well settled in the present in fact, and producing these powerful eardrum explosions, song after song with a energy in crescendo, ending the set with a blistering number of furious drumming and wild screaming.


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