Bananasugarfire by Golden Apples Album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions. The band's full-length is now out via Lame-O Records



Golden Apples

“All I ever want now is to be kind and rewind everything,” Russell Edling sings off of Golden Apples’ latest release of jangly, shoe-gazey songs, called Bananasugarfire, out on Lame-O Records. The album, with its fair share of titles that reference Final Fantasy VII, is a fuzzy impressionistic guitar romp, looking back at childhood, processing regrets, and pushing forward with a hope and a kindness, like a passing cloud promising rain.

Taking from the likes of the Pixies, Guided by Voices, Nirvana, and the Replacements, it is yet a group of signature tunes that make the most of a community of musicians that have been prolifically creating in the last so many years. “It’s become natural to run from humankind / and leave it all behind,” Edling sings on the community-oriented second track, “Guard Stick,” named after the primitive weapon used by a character in FFVII who sacrificed herself so that the others could go on and complete their mission. Bananasugarfire is a playful, adventurous, and honest attempt to recalibrate towards joy and connection, instead of despair and destruction.

“We’re in a moment where ‘not being corny’ is such a big piece of social capital and I think it makes it hard to put yourself out there in such an unabashedly optimistic way,” Edling says about creating a more kind and hopeful record than he has in the past. “There’s a part of me that’s afraid to say things that are this sort of openly positive in a song because that’s just not the type of thing that people respond to anymore. I always thought it was the most daring thing to confess sadness and depression in a song, but now I see it’s more intimidating to express joy.”

“I think we’ll be fine, coloring outside the lines,” is how they put it on the song, “Waiting For a Cloud.” “Waiting for a cloud / it’s different now somehow.” There is optimism in the impressionistic and coded lyrics, but most of the happiness is heard in the adventurous sonics of the record. Like the (almost) title track, “Sugar Fire,” which trots along, repeating a compelling guitar riff, building and building in energy as the song goes on. “There will be the sun / the sun is being fun for you / the day has just begun for you / sugarfire is the one for you.”

It is a song filled with the yin and yang of human experience, hitting on the depression I remember descending in my own youth. “I was only 9 years old when I felt it through my coat / felt the poison in my future / drop of poison in my soul.” The record, while optimistic, doesn’t shy away from the darker feelings and experiences, and renders them in interesting poetry that despite Edling’s fears, is never cheesy or trite.

It is a compellingly sugary record, in a banana-odd sort of way, and only gets more enjoyable with repeated listens. Whether it’s the Sonic Youth-sounding jam on “Materia” or the guitar in ode to In Utero on “Stuck,” they work with a familiar indie rock, alternative palette, that keeps your ears making an infinity of fun connections, while wowing you with their original creations, that are allusive but never derivative. “Colored green like / colored green eyes,” they end the album with synesthetic pleasure and an “all things go” attitude. It’s a bright if complicated work of art.

order Bananasugarfire by Golden Apples HERE


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