The Appleseed Cast


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The Appleseed Cast has a sound that you might have a hard time categorizing until you hear someone use the phrase "Midwest post-rock." Then it becomes obvious that that's exactly what they sound like, even if the term itself is really kind of baffling. You have to hear it to understand: the Appleseed Cast's sound is often noisy, but is never just noise; they experiment with weird and unusual production approaches, but you wouldn't call them avant-garde. Nestled within the sometimes dense clouds of guitar noise are genuinely attractive hooks, and their songs often contain puzzling but highly effective contradictions. Note, for example, "Here We Are (Family in the Hallways)," which is one of the album's finest tracks and sounds both chaotically hooky and energetically heartbroken. Nothing can really prepare you for the sonically bizarre "Mountain Halo," but then, the Robert Smith vocal inflections on "February" are every bit as surprising. The instrumental tracks are all very interesting, but with the exception of the excellent "An Orange and a Blue," none is as engaging as the songs, and the one that ends the program takes things out with more of a whimper than a bang. Recommended overall.

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