Appleseed Cast

Appleseed Cast

Two Conversations

Tiger Style

Appleseed Cast has to be one of the best, most often overlooked bands in the world. Release after release, these guys keep putting out truly beautiful, unique, and well-written music that many people seem to ignore, for whatever reason. I’m guessing that indie snobbery might have kept many kids from giving these guys a try (they used to be on Deep Elm, the label that releases the unforgivingly corny “Emo Diaries” series of compilations), but with Two Conversations, Appleseed Cast may finally be able to capitalize on the whispers of stardom which started with their Low Level Owl releases.

Two Conversations, which is on the Tiger Style label, finds the boys returning to the more mathematical and postpunk style of albums like Mare Vitalis (I don’t like to use the term “emo,” as it means little these days), while still championing the experimental facets of the Low Level Owl albums. Where the Low Level Owl records focused on exploration of their sound, and experimentation in general, Two Conversations takes the parts that worked during Low Level Owl times, and seem to have woven them into the style of their previous releases. The result is a truly melodic, yet sparse and dreamy release, not unlike Elliot’s Song in The Air. I guess the overall sound of Two Conversations is very hard to pin down, but I really love it, in the same way that I have trouble describing what Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief sounds like, but I love it.

One thing is for sure, though, and it’s that vocalist Christopher Crisci has made himself into a wonderful lead singer. I used to think that he was kind of a rip off of Mineral’s lead singer, but his voice has really evolved into a beautiful, raspy gem, sounding like a cross between Planes Mistaken For Stars’ lead vocalist and Chamberlain’s lead singer. He has completely lost any “emo” whininess of the past, and replaced it with a mature grit and weariness that few emo wusses could ever pull off.

The band itself has kept quite a bit of the weirdness from the Low Level Owl albums, including the synthesizers. To be honest, though, the weirdness is such that it hides behind beautiful melodies and well-structured arrangements, making for beautiful weirdness, in the same way that Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song” is beautifully weird.

The guitars are as grainy as ever, but the overall approach seems slowed down, with the syncopation of chords coming at a slower rate, making for a somewhat tired/ exhausted mood on several tracks (see “Sinking” for best example). On the other hand, some of the trademark Appleseed Cast guitar noodlings can be found here (specifically on “Ice Heavy Branches” and “Innocent Vigilant Ordinary”), so the guitars on this album should please fans of both pre- and post- Low Level Owl Appleseed Cast.

The overall verdict is that this band is amazing. I honestly believe that the weirdness of Low Level Owl attracted many new listeners, but it may have confused some older Appleseed Cast fans; with Two Conversations, though, they’ve put both styles together, added some sadness and longing, and come up with the best album of their admirable career. This album is easily one of 2003’s Top Five releases, and I strongly urge that anyone reading this to give it a listen. This is a simply incredible record.

Tiger Style Records:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

  • Demons/Demons 2
    Demons/Demons 2

    Synapse Films reissues Lamberto Bava’s epic ’80s gore-filled movies Demons and Demons 2 in beautiful new editions.

  • Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson
    Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson

    Searching for the Disappearing Hour (Pyroclastic Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Payal Kapadia
    Payal Kapadia

    Earlier this year, director Payal Kapadia was awarded the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) for best documentary at the 74th Cannes Film Festival for her debut feature, A Night of Knowing Nothing. Lily and Generoso interviewed Kapadia about her poignant film, which employs a hybrid-fiction technique to provide a personal view of the student protests that engulfed Indian colleges and universities during the previous decade.

  • Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

    A classic children’s tale re-imagined by America’s greatest composers.

  • Taraka

    Welcome to Paradise Lost (Rage Peace). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives