Sweet Apple, circa 2009

Dinosaur Jr guitar slinger J Mascis has teamed up with two members of Cobra Verde and one of his Witch bandmates for a new project: Sweet Apple, which delivers its 12-track debut album, Love & Desperation, on April 20, and is expected to tour later this year.

Like Mascis’ Witch side project, Sweet Apple also finds the rocker behind the drum kit, although he also plays guitar and sings this time around. Joining Mascis are Cobra Verde bandmates John Petkovic (vocals/guitar), who also played in Guided By Voices for a spell, and Tim Parnin (guitar), as well as Witch bassist Dave Sweetapple (get it?).

According to the band’s bio, Sweet Apple was formed in the wake of Petkovic’s mother’s death; the Cleveland musician/journalist was driving aimlessly cross-country when he got a call from Sweetapple, who invited him to his Vermont home. Sweetapple then asked the nearby Mascis to come over, and they started writing songs together.

Petkovic wrote four new songs on the way home (including “I Can’t See You,” featuring the refrain, “I drove and drove and drove and drove. And drove and drove and drove and drove”), then started rehearsing them with Cobra Verde bandmate Parnin. According to Parnin, “Out of the blue, we had an album full of catchy tunes. It’s one of the weirdest things I’ve experienced playing in bands.” Mascis adds: “I tell people I that I saved John’s live by starting this band. But they don’t believe me.”

Sweet Apple recorded Love & Desperation in Cleveland and Massachusetts with Sonic Youth vet John Agnello and Don Depew, who worked with GBV; Pitchfork recently posted the single “Do You Remember” (download below). And so far, the band only has a pair of concerts on the horizon: an as-yet-unscheduled showcase at South By Southwest in March and a CD-release party April 20 at New York’s Mercury Lounge.

DOWNLOAD: Sweet Apple, “Do You Remember”

See Sweet Apple tour dates after the jump…

Sweet Apple tour dates:

March 17-21: South By Southwest, Austin, TX
April 20: Mercury Lounge, New York, NY

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