The Apples in Stereo

Science Faire

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A collection of early tracks, unreleased tunes, and various odds 'n' sods, Science Faire is a minor release intended for fans only. The heart of the album consists of four tracks originally released as a 7" EP by the Apples (the band's original name, changed to avoid conflict with a similarly named group), but hearing these tracks in retrospect, after the Apples (in stereo)'s far superior albums, is a disappointing experience. The original versions of "Tidal Wave" and "Glowworm" sound like poorly recorded demos in comparison to the far superior takes on Fun Trick Noisemaker. The poor sound quality is an endemic problem throughout (except for the one new track, a reverb-heavy instrumental called "To Love the Vibration of the Bulb"), but a bigger one is that the group's songwriting (mastermind Robert Schneider shares the songwriting duties with guitarist John McIntyre, a setup later largely abandoned) is largely below the quality of what was to come. Even the best songs, like Schneider's "Turncoat Indian" and McIntyre's "Touch the Water," are less melodically rich and tuneful than the band's later work. Science Faire is not a worthless album, but it's certainly to be approached with caution.

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