The Golden Apples

Texas platters

Phases and Stages

The Golden Apples

Cooler Jets Will Prevail

There will always be a place for fun, cheery pop music in the American lexicon. From the Fab Four to That '70s Show, pop fed by harmonies and happy guitars has now raised multiple generations. The Golden Apples are bringing what Cheap Trick trademarked as their own into the present local scene, where only a handful of bands pull off the pop without cheese. The Apples' sophomore effort, Cooler Jets Will Prevail, starts off strong, but slowly burns out, leaving the listener begging for something new. Aptly named opener "Big Star" is instantly catchy, fueled by Shannon Rierson's vox and Christian Kurtz's bubbly riffage. Visions of mop tops and matching blazers jump out from the song. But where Big Star succeeded was in Chris Bell and Alex Chilton's empathetic understanding; Cooler Jets is lacking humanity. It seems to be an exercise in harmonies and bouncy guitars. Perhaps the shallow production is to blame, leaving the lead guitar miles away from the vocals. Either way, by the time "McKinley Hill" reaches the speakers, the mind starts wondering where #1 Record on vinyl ended up after the last move. Rockers "All the Square Waves" and "Down With the Right Angles" just don't have the fire to justify their shredding guitar and pounding rhythms. This isn't a bad album, just one devoid of any risks. Boredom should never take the place of nostalgia.

**

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