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Appleseed Cast | Two Conversations | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

The Appleseed Cast

Two Conversations (Tiger Style)
by Tim Den

Wow, I didn't see this one coming... After flooring me with their debut (The End of the Ring Wars) and its butterfly-out-of-the-cocoon transformation of a follow-up (Mare Vitalis), The Appleseed Cast made me a bitter, bitter fan by ditching craft for meandering experimentation. Both Low Level Owl albums were nonsensical excercises in emulating a sound rather than good songs, and let's not even mention contract-filler Lost Songs. Yikes.

But apparently the band have decided to recover what they lost in a BIG way. Two Conversations, the band's first album for Tiger Style, is not only a return to form in terms of gut-wrenching indie rock, it's by far the band's best work to date. Even Mare Vitalis had weak spots, but there are none here. Every song - even with their sometimes repetitive vocal melodies - drift like falling snow into a heart made of fire, turning icy depression into warm streams of sentiments that flow toward dignity rather than melodrama. Exquisite turns in guitar riffs and polyrhythmic drumming keep the songs dancing on their feet, as restraint and wise note choices chaperone the album's weepiness with authoritative discipline. When guitarist/vocalist Chris Crisci sings "when the lights come up, it's the end/when the tears come out, it's the end... it's the end of you and me," you genuinely feel the bitterness and sorrow instead of the button-pushing formulas that so many others pass off as "emotional." But then again, The Appleseed Cast have always been known for being outstanding communicators of indie rock heart surgery... they just needed to fuck off for a couple of albums to really make their statement. And what a statement Two Conversations is.
(401 Broadway 26th Fl. New York, NY 10013)  

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