The Poison Apples Cheese Wheel

7 July 2019

The Poison Apples – “Cheese Wheel” The Poison Apples is a band from Beverly, Massaschusetts that has only recently gotten the recognition they deserve, perhaps due to the release of their first album, “Cheese Wheel.” The band formed in 1990 when singer Norman, 21 (he says that he, and the rest of the band, don’t have last names), teamed up with 21-year-old classmate Eric, who was teaching himself to play bass. They asked long-time friend Cloud, to play guitar. Drummer Ed, now 18, joined in 1991. He was only sixteen. But let’s get back to the music … it’s nothing short of spectacular. Despite their creative album and song titles (“Courageous in My Bathtub,” “Dottie,” “I’m an Enigma,” etc.), they are not another wannabe “alternative” band. They describe their music as “Rock. Just rock. We don’t believe in things like labels or frills.” Ed wrote most of the songs on the 14-track album. His lyrics are typical of any ;;;;;18-year-old male. Take the song “Chewy,” for example: “I know you want it/on a napkin/ I know you want it/In your hand/But I lost my telephone number/I know you’ll never understand.” His lyrics reveal a lot about his personality. Norman wrote the only ballad on the album, a haunting melody he calls “Fission”: “We come together/But we always split apart/Just like an atom/You’re always in my heart.” The Poison Apples is a band way beyond their time. They take ordinary melodies and blend them to get a song that is original and expressive. They don’t take it too seriously, according to the lyrics on the album’s closing tack “Walk with me”: “I’m just a boy at heart/I still like to play/When life starts to get me down/I just run away/I’m better, better than you/I don’t know how to be sad/Happiness is sunshine/This is all a fad.” . Review by S. H., Groveland, MA

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