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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Appleseed Cast
Two Conversations
Tigerstyle Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
This review is dedicated to one of my best friends, Peanut, who gets a certain look in his eye when he talks about the Appleseed Cast. It's not difficult to describe this look: it is one of depth, amazement, and admiration. This look leads to many conversations that sound as close to Charlie Brown's teacher as you could get: "Wah, wah, Appleseed Cast, Wah."

I know for certain that many of their fans are as instantly eager to name-drop these chaps of fabled namesake, as the seeds planted are more likely ones of fandom than ripened fruit. The Appleseed Cast is one of those bands who strike visceral, emotional chords, and whose name is enthusiastically spread by the word of mouth of the devoted. While not yet one of those rabid fans, I can feel it coming on in appreciation of this CD.

Two Conversations is the sixth release from these once-Californians who have since moved from Deep Elm to Lawrence, Kansas and the fertile ground of Tigerstyle Records. The phrase "exhilarating dynamics" is coined in the bio sheet, and try as I might, there's no better description for what the band creates. Ten sweeping epics sprawl through the length of this release; skillfully ebbing, flowing, and lacing profound textures into a certifiable work of art.

"Hanging Marionette" is immediately akin to Antarctica's too-short stint as a band, employing complexity and momentum until finding a great, satisfying release. "Ice Heavy Branches" sounds like an outtake from Aloha's superb That's Your Fire, bubbling over with ambitious guitar lines to find a somewhat-garbled mark of intensity. The pinpoint accuracy these fellows possess allows them to target a clear, melodic stride within endlessly compounded layers, and is quite stunning. They are intriguing, inspired, and ready to take you with them as they push the future of atmospheric rock ever forward.

While some of the tracks, like "Sinking" and the closing "A Dream For Us" hang on the edge of dirges, feeling a bit listless and burdened, their aptitude for multi-layered intricacy helps their interest shine through.

In two other highlights, "Fight Song" and "Innocent Vigilant Ordinary," their proficiency for seamlessness amid likable pop structures string out in ways that at times parallel Radiohead or The Cure. Their talent in this endeavor reinforces what is perhaps their strongest suit - slyly pouring potent experimental medication inside the guise of easy-to-swallow capsules.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters



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