• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

CD review: Appletop, Brave Mountains

Appletop

Appletop

Brave Mountains

(Armellodie)

Not since the Illinois-via-Antwerp stylings of dEUS crossed the North Sea 20 years ago has such a geographically incongruous record appeared on the radar, an observation built on equal parts approval and perplexity. Like the Belgian troupe, southern French trio Appletop lasso their influences - almost exclusively late 20th-century American indie rock à la Pavement, The Breeders, Sebadoh - before carrying out a process of skinning, evisceration and repurposing of the husks. Unlike dEUS, however, the result of their taxidermy is mostly lifeless, being anatomically correct yet intrinsically a facsimile. There are glimpses of brilliance amid the 10 workmanlike cuts: Portand, chorus aside, glimmers and twinkles in a sad-eyed fashion, while melancholic chugathon New Again aches and sways like the best of Buffalo Tom's bruised balladry. It's a struggle to find an argument for favouring Brave Mountains over any of its blazingly conspicuous sources - dEUS swiftly shed the cloak of influence to build a sound all of their own; Appletop show no sign of sharing such ambition.

Sean Guthrie

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

218048