Ulysses create breakup album with lo-fi appeal

BY LLOYD CARGO
Daily Arts Writer
Published December 14, 2004

If The Apples In Stereo were trying to be The Beatles, 010 would be Robert Schneider’s Plastic Ono Band. Ulysses, a side-project for the Apples In Stereo frontman, spawns a successful lo-fi breakup album with Schneider’s vitriolic separation songs that are gloriously non-indulgent.

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Rather than basking in self-pity or wallowing in memories of greatness, 010 is the album that Bob Pollard and Guided By Voices wished they were making, combining the sun-baked sentiment of Pavement‘s Slanted and Enchanted and the bitter basement riffs of Guided By Voices’ Bee Thousand.

010 isn’t quite the era-defining masterpiece that those albums were, but it has the same timeless quality. The track “Glacier” drives the album and sounds like a mid-’60s Kinks B-side. Schneider follows with the careening anthem “The Falcon,” a blast of staggered guitars and frenzied drumming. Schneider proves he’s also capable of slowing down with “Change,” a Stephen Malkmus-esque slow burn.

It’s hard to imagine that this album would be as unspoiled without the production, and there is no simpler engineering than recording live around one microphone in a garage in Lexington, KY. The lo-fi aesthetic fits the songs perfectly. With 010, Ulysses accomplish what Robert Schneider never could with The Apples In Stereo, escaping rock clich