Sweet Apple - "love & desperation"

"Dinosaur Jr's J Macis, teams up with members of Cobra Verde, and Witch (another Mascis project), and create the best retro 70's power pop (or arena rock if you prefer), album since the 1970's. This album rocks!" - Lazlo

Most bands are brought together by guitars, amps and drums. Sweet Apple formed after tragedy, out of friendship, on a miserable day in Vermont. At first glance, the rock Ďní roll quartet might seem like one of those "indie-rock supergroup" sideshows. (editor's note: "stupor group"?) Yes, J. Mascis (drums/guitar/vocals) plays in Dinosaur Jr. Tim Parnin (guitar) and John Petkovic (vocals/guitar) play in Cobra Verde. Dave Sweetapple (bass/vocals) plays in Witch. But Sweet Apple was born of a death -- and a cross country drive. Totally by chance. It was rainy morning in December when John Petkovic got in his car heading eastward. He had no destination in mind, let alone plans for a band. He just wanted to drive away. "My mother had just died after a long, horrible illness," he says. "And Iíd been totally devastated by so many things, all at once. Iíd lost so much weight. I couldnít eat or sleep. All I did was smoke cigarettes, one and after another after another." John got in his car and went for a long smoke. Four hundred miles from his hometown of Cleveland, and out of the blue, he received a phone call from friend Dave Sweetapple. "I couldnít believe he was driving around aimlessly," says Sweetapple, of Brattleboro, Vt. "When I found out he was so close to Vermont I told him to come over." Dave also called their mutual friend J. Mascis, who lives nearby in Amherst, Ma., and told him to come over. J did, and told John to start writing a bunch of songs when he got back home Ė so they could start a band. John hadnít played guitar for months. He came up with four songs on the ride home Ė including "I Canít See You," with its haunting refrain, "I drove and drove and drove and drove. And drove and drove and drove and drove." Within three weeks, John was jamming with CV bandmate Tim Parnin Ė and they whittled 25 songs down to 12. "Out of the blue, we had an album full of catchy tunes," says Parnin. "Itís one of the weirdest things Iíve experienced playing in bands." Even weirder, many of the songs are upbeat Ė fun and mockingly funny, with loud, brash guitars. "Do You Remember" is a driving singalong. "Iíve Got a Feeling That Wonít Change" is wounded pop. "Flying Up a Mountain" is a nihilist singalong. "Love & Desperation" was recorded in Cleveland and Massachusetts. It was mixed by John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, The Hold Steady) and Don Depew (Guided By Voices, Cobra Verde). "I tell people that I saved Johnís life by starting this band," says Mascis. "But they donít believe me."