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.
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