For years now, The Appleseed Cast has been at the forefront of bands that are keeping Emo alive and well, (and away from the common misconceptions that are spread around now a days.) Their tactics? Colliding the conventions of Emo music with summery upbeat sounds and a healthy dose of post-rock. But, partly due to their persistence in independent record labels, they�re still to have really made an impact. With this album, they hope to change all of that.
And, at first, it looks very much like that will be easily achievable. The wonderfully dramatic instrumental track �Ceremony� kicks things off brilliantly; the whole drive and multi-layered sounds of the affair make it feel very enjoyable indeed. And it continues, right into the fantastic punk pop of �Woodland Hunter (Part I)� and the charming pop melodies of �Here We Are (Family in the Hallways)�; an ode to Appleseed�s earlier sound. Unfortunately though, that�s about as good as it gets.
After that, the whole thing just loses pace. That�s not to say the rest of the album is bad, it�s just a bit of a let down from the opening three tracks and what Appleseed Cast are capable of. The rest of the album is full of pleasant indie pop songs, but that�s all there is to it. It just feels very flat, and unfocused.
When I first heard Appleseed Cast, I listened to the previous album, �Lost Songs� and was blown away. For me, that album is the perfect mix of Emo, Post-Rock and Pop that they could have tried to make, (and ironically, it�s not a full album). The main reason, is because it�s all killer, no filler; something this album is incredibly guilty of. Yeah, there�s nice moments to have here in �Silas�s Knife� and �Song 3�, but it�s not really until the very end that the album picks up pace again, and for a 55 minute album, having 20 minutes of average material slap bang in the middle doesn�t do Appleseed Cast any favours. Finale �The Clock and the Storm� is equally dramatic to its introducing counterpart, but its effect is softened by how long it takes to get there.
So it would be safe to say that this is a bit of a disappointment. Compared to earlier work, this lacks the punch that made Appleseed so well respected and loved in the first place. I�ve desperately tried to see if this album improves with age. But sadly, the result still stays the same; Quantity over Quality.
iam yet to listen to this, but i own mare vitalis and both low level owls. to be honest from reading your review, i think those records i mentioned were similar in the way to this one in that they have some incredible songs and some pretty boring ones on each release imo. when this band is good, they are absolutely beautiful.
By far my favorite album of this year. The Appleseed Cast, besides being one of the finest tuned machines in indie, are fantastic song writers. The songs blend together perfectly and this album could very well be a 50 song album and I would love every second of it.
Good review, appreciate your opinion, humbly don't agree with the 3.0. Deserves higher. It's not as boring as you say unless you don't like atmospheric post-rock. Sets a mood well. If you don't like atmospheric post-rock, then I don't understand why you're reviewing this album anyway. But yeah, good stuff overall.
so I'm wondering which Emo bands DFelon and astrel would say ARE "at the forefront of bands that are keeping Emo..." etc.
(Honest question. IMHO, emo is a frustrating genre descriptor because so many people have different definitions of it. Some say Hoobastank is emo, others Fugazi etc., others Bright Eyes, and I've even heard people argue Counting Crows would fit because Adam Duritz's voice is so notoriously emotive. But all those bands do NOT belong in the same genre.)
easily their best album for me. i love the long, introspective feel of the low level owls, but i have to be in a certain mood for them. this has the best balance of intelligent experimentation and catchy hooks. i can listen to it at any time. might review it