The Apple War

The Apple War


Seattle’s The Apple War are called American Brit-rock, but they prefer Brit-rock with a heart of 60s soul. Radiohead or Spoon on Motown. Their debut, Alarm Bell City, arrived in 2008. Winners of the “Land the Gig” contest, the music video for “Alarm Bell City” is featured on Virgin America flights.


The Apple War started playing in Seattle in 2007 and—before long—went to work on their debut album, Alarm Bell City (2008). Recorded entirely at home, the album was also produced, engineered, and mastered by frontman Luke Houglum. Winners of Virgin America’s “Land the Gig” competition, the band’s music video for “Alarm Bell City” is currently feature on Virgin America flights.

Luke Houglum and Ian Shuler met in Bellingham, WA, a town best known as the birthplace of Death Cab For Cutie, where the earliest Apple War songs took seed. After relocating to Seattle with their trusty Thomas organ and years worth of ideas, Houglum reunited with old friends Nick Fulwiler and Eric Sullivan, who immediately completed the band and took to rounding out new arrangements on guitar, bass, organ, glockenspiel, and more.

In 2008, The Apple War played more than 40 shows, over half of which were out of their hometown. They toured the West Coast and played with nationals and noteworthy Northwest bands such as Local H, The Heavenly States, The Maldives, and Grand Hallway.


Psycho Stepper

Written By: Ian Shuler

What little faith
You have in things beyond the neon glare
What you don't see
Doesn't mean it isn't really there
(I'm here)

Warning signs
You crimp your hair
Check your pulse
While it's still there
You're on the phone
With so-and-so
Call 'em back
You're home alone

Birds of prey
Swarm the buildings and the city squares
How 'bout a game
If you guess my name I'll leave this place

Who's at your door?
Your eyes decieve you
Oh! In the darkness
How could anybody do it?
Turn up the volume
On your reciever
If they don't hear you
Who in god's name would believe you?

Warning signs
Bite your nails
Like candy corn
Recite a prayer
Heaven send
Hell away
Try to pretend
It's still day

Warning signs
You crimp your hair
Check your pulse
While it's still there
On the phone
With so-and-so
Call 'em back
You're home alone


Written By: Ian Shuler

Now time has come
To skip me like a stone
I'll be leaving
Sans "In Your Eyes"
And never come to find me
'Cause I'll be wandering

Orphan, where you from?
Let me understand
Oh, but God would know
On forgotten streets
With religions of their own
A language of their own
Let me understand
The pidgin

London, Bothel Way
All nights the same
Oh, but lucky me
I'll be seventeen
I'll be something
You'll look up to me
Like silver on the screen
And you'll find my name
On the grand marquee
They'll let me lead the way

Orphan, where you from?
Think I understand
So I'll be God awhile
Say you need a friend
I prefer the stars
For knowing where you stand
A worm inside a whale
Or looking for it
I'll swallow the key
And leave you in your sleep
Leave you in your sleep

The Nothing

Written By: Ian Shuler

So let it file before second eyes, worlds apart
So many miles from home
Wandering with a shopping cart
All of your life on the shelf
Looking for the knife to save it
Ah, ah, ah ah

So then he walked around to shake it off, all the hours
Then the light went out
"They're on to me," like fog on the tower
And if you fall off to sleep
With the wise men gone
Singing ah, ah, ah ah

Ladies, gents, and common sense are things of distant past
Now at last, we pass
Maybe there's a place to go inside your head
When you're dead, when you're dead


"Alarm Bell City" LP, released July 2008.

The Apple War: Alarm Bell City

1. Alarm Bell City 3:56
2. Sailor 3:26
3. Psycho Stepper 3:14
4. Steer It Through 6:47
5. Old Thunder 6:07
6. 'Til the Morning After 3:40
7. The Nothing 4:54
8. Everybody's Sayin' 7:15
9. All Signs Point To Yes (Try, Try, Try) 7:44
10. Fifteen-Sixteen 4:48
11. Hands 4:57
12. Beyond the Haze (Memory of a Smile) 5:05

Set List

40 - 60 minutes long:

1. Alarm Bell City
2. Sailor
3. Psycho Stepper
4. Steer It Through
5. Organ Song
6. Everybody's Sayin'
7. Old Thunder
8. Fifteen-Sixteen
9. Hands
10. All Signs Point to Yes

Assorted Covers:
Under Pressure (Queen)
Magnificent Seven (The Clash)
Reptile (The Church)
Psycho Killer (Talking Heads)