Friday, April 23, 2010

And you thought nothing ever happened in Brattleboro.

Brattleboro is an old hippie town in Southern Vermont. It’s full of coffee shops and independent bookstores and places where you can buy hand-made whatever…We buy groceries, almost every Sunday, at its co-op, surely one of the best of its kind, and in the summer, the Farmer’s market is pretty ace as well. There’s a brew pub called McNeils which, despite only intermittently having a working bathroom, is one of my favorite places in the whole world. We go there after the groceries usually. It takes the sting out of the weekend’s end.

But Brattleboro is not exactly a world capital of music, so it’s sort of cool that Sweet Apple – a collaboration between Cobra Verde’s John Petkovic, J. Mascis and Dave Sweetapple (from Witch) – got started there. My review of their new album “Love & Desperation” ran early in the week on Blurt.

Sweet Apple, the new project from J. Mascis and John Petkovic, sounds a lot more like Cobra Verde (Petkovic’s band) than Dinosaur Jr. There are occasional, inflammatory surges of Mascis’ inimitable guitar, mostly on “I’ve Got a Feeling (That Won’t Change),” and in a sidewinding break in “Crawling Over Bodies”. Still for the most part, Mascis stays in the background and seems mostly to be playing drums (as he does in Witch). Petkovic has even brought along Tim Parnin, his guitarist from Cobra Verde. Dave Sweetapple, who is also in Witch, plays bass, but you won’t hear a lot of that band’s sprawling, sludgy metal here. Instead, the tunes are mostly of the glam-leaning, power-chord studded, 1970s-referencing ilk of Cobra Verde. Not that that’s a bad thing. In fact, after an extended break and a rough personal stretch, it looks like Petkovic has got his mojo back. If Love & Desperation were a Cobra Verde album, it would be the best one since Easy Listening, far more consistent and hard-hitting than 2009’s Haven’t Slept All Year.


“Do You Remember”


Sean said...

you're totally on the money about the Sweet Apple album. one of the most fun records thus far of 2010, and i can only hope John P. tours with them here in Clevo

jenniferpkelly said...

Oh, thanks, Sean. I don't see how they could avoid Cleveland, though, do you?

The big question is whether they play Brattleboro.