Up On The Apple: Dreaming While the World’s Still Sleeping (2013)

Bio (excerpted from upontheapple.com):
Up On The Apple formed in 2012 in Milan Italy. Dreaming while the world’s still sleeping is the first album by Up On The Apple and it has been released by the english label Futurenoise.co.uk
The first extract from the album, Somebody that i used to know, is a very eccentric cover of the worldwide success by Gotye. The music video, featured on Youtube, has recently reached 1000 views a mere few days from its release.

Musicians:
Gio (Vocals, Guitars, Programming), Giuseppe Fiori (Bass, Programming), Alex Canella (Drums)

 

The opening instrumental track from DREAMING WHILE THE WORLD’S STILL SLEEPING really caught my interest and made me look forward to what Up On The Apple had to offer. “Sleeping While the World is Still Dreaming” is an atmospheric, simple, and haunting track built around a piano riff, a few electronics, and a thunderstorm. Unfortunately for me, the promise that the opening track made did not get fulfilled. By the first few seconds of track two, “The Twisted Grove,” I had a much better understanding of what Up On The Apple was truly about.

Up On The Apple: Alex Canella, Gio, Giuseppe Fiori
Up On The Apple: Alex Canella, Gio, Giuseppe Fiori

“The Twisted Grove” launches with a riff that lies somewhere in-between what used to be known as Alternative Rock and Nü-Metal. The vocals are certainly much closer to the rock end of the spectrum, as they are sung and not screamed or growled or rapped, but musically Up On The Apple is a bit closer to the metal end. They’re not heavy enough to really be considered a metal band, but the programmed sounding beats, crunchy distorted guitar, and almost electronica sounding breaks with some very digital keyboard remind me of those days of bands like Static X, but just not with quite as much gusto. This combination of musical influences start on “The Twisted Grove,” and continue on “song of Freedom,” “Endless Highway” (though that one uses mostly an acoustic guitar, the rest of the elements are there), and especially so in their cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.” The tracks that don’t fall into the Nü-Metal vein are more like College Rock or Indie Rock (Third Eye Blind, Candlebox, Matchbox 20, etc.) For me, the true standout tracks, the ones that really did something for me as a listener, were the instrumental opening track and it’s bookend closer.

Giuseppe and Gio on stage...
Giuseppe and Gio on stage…

I just could not really get what Up On The Apple is trying to do with their music. It feels a bit dated (very 1993-1998) but not retro, and what it felt like they were harkening back to was stuff that I’d mostly be glad to forget. There wasn’t enough of a “groove” or an hard edge to make their heavier songs really sell them as a hard rock band, and there was too much bite in their music to really live in that College Rock world; the occupy this strange grey space somewhere in-between. Added to all of this is a cover that I especially did not care for… I’m not much of a Gotye fan, but there is no denying that he wrote at least one really good song. Up On The Apple’s version of “Someone That I Used to Know” felt forced and unnecessary. It wasn’t that different, not different enough to really be worth doing, and I found it very odd that there is what sounds like a sample of Gotye himself singing in the chorus along with Gio (which really serves to point out how much better of a voice Gotye has).

From the video shoot for their cover of "Somebody That I Used to Know," which is on YouTube
From the video shoot for their cover of “Somebody That I Used to Know,” which is on YouTube

Overall, Up On The Apple is just not for me. I’m 100% sure there are lots of people that will enjoy DWtWSS; I’m just not one of them. It’s just not my thing, not a sound or a style that speaks to me at all. The album is well recorded, has some moments of greatness (for me, the bookends), and the band members seem to gel musically. I just am not a fan of the style of music the sum of their parts equaled.

 

Overall 4 / 10

DWtWSS for sale: https://itunes.apple.com/it/album/dreaming-while-worlds-still/id640178738

DWtWSS site: http://upontheapple.com
http://www.facebook.com/UpOnTheApple

Up On The Apple: Dreaming While the World's Still Sleeping (2013)
Up On The Apple: Dreaming While the World’s Still Sleeping (2013)
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