Saturday, 23rd June 2018. 3:16:46pm ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Alex Arrowsmith- Applewine


ARTIST: Alex Arrowsmith

ALBUM: Applewine

LABEL: Ectoplasmic Records

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 8-11-07

Alex Arrowsmith- Applewine

Alex Arrowswmith's music is, to be perfectly blunt, folk-rock for nerds. Think They Might Be Giants, only less educational and more steeped in weird pop culture references. On his newest album, the Oregon songwriter explores such varied topics as an armless superhero on "I Can Kill My Enemies with My Mind," cryogenic culture shock on "Engulf the Manatee," and, one can only presume, a bad case of the munchies on "Corn Dog Shaped Like California." Despite the obvious quirkiness, these are hardly novelty songs, either. OK, "Update Your Blog" kind of is, but it's the exception, not the rule, and "Land of Dainty Wonder" is more a satire of twee imagery than a novelty song, per se. "Fearful Symmetry" is inspired at least in part by a William Blake poem, which is just about as serious as you can get, and "Bugs," despite its jaunty guitars and Arrowsmith's reedy vocal work, is a legitimately squirmy look at paranoia. Arrowsmith would be easy to write off as a silly song kind of guy, but he's got a strong enough pop sensibility that even blatantly comical offerings like "I Hope You're Never Crushed by Something Heavy" and "Coldplay Got Eaten by Piranhas" will get stuck in your head, but not in an irritating way like "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." No, you'll be happy when they get stuck in there, like Beatles songs. Geeky, geeky Beatles songs. Alex Arrowsmith's updates his blog at www.alexarrowsmith.com.


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