APPLE PIE MOTHERHOOD BAND – Apple Pie Motherhood Band
– Apple Pie When the Atlantic record label objected to The Sacred Mushroom’s name as being too druggy, their manager sarcastically suggested The Apple Pie Motherhood Band, and when the record company took him seriously the name stuck. So this Boston band made two albums under this name, and good hard rock/psyche efforts they are too. Their 1968 debut starts off with a great seven minute fuzz-guitar and organ version of ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’, followed by another cover, this time of David Blue’s ‘I’d Like To Know’ done in a much gentler style. An original composition is next, with ‘Ice’ unfortunately fading out just as it is getting interesting, while Dick Barnaby’s ‘Barnaby’s Madness’ is a psyche-punk gem full of fuzz-guitar and psychedelic lyrics. The medley of their own instrumental ‘Ultimate’ with a cover of ‘Contact’ makes for a superb slice of psyche rock, and one of the best tracks on here. ‘The Way It Feels’ is more pop-rock than most of the stuff on here, and ‘Bread And Jam’ is a nice little bluesy guitar instrumental. ‘Apple Pie’ is a harmony-layered sunshine pop ditty, and ‘Variation On A Fingernail’ might try a bit too hard to be weird, but is still a good West Coast sounding song with intriguing rhythms and a bit of church organ thrown in for good measure. On the whole this is quite a varied album, but with all the tracks played with flair and actually sounding a couple of years ahead of its time. The following year they released ‘Apple Pie’, which was recorded by a drastically different line-up, and was consequently a much heavier affair. Opener ‘Orangutang’ is a seven minute guitar fest, with some great soloing and an infectious energy. The cover of ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’ is prefaced by a great guitar intro, and is taken at a fiery pace, while Ted Demos’ guitar-work and Jeff Labes’ organ on their take on Chuck Berry’s ‘Brown Eyed Handsome Man’ elevate it above your run of the mill cover. ‘Grandmother Hooker’ is a great soul tinged heavy rocker, which leads nicely into their blues-ed up version of ‘Get Ready’ – one of the better takes on it that I have heard. As you may have realised this album does rely heavily on covers, but there are some original songs on here, and the last few tracks include the haunting ballad ‘Gypsy’, and the good time rock of ‘Super Music Man’. ‘He Turned You On’ closes the album with a heavy ballad featuring some fine guitar from Demos. While not perhaps up to the quality of their first album, this is still an enjoyable slice of late 60’s US bluesy rock, and either of the CD re-issues of these album would be well worth hearing.