October 22, 2005
Review by Jake Thomas
Goddam do I love a matinee show...I love it so much I think I probably say the same thing every time I review one. Being able to see a show and still get home at a decent hour...that’s like porn for an old man like me.
The Minus Story put out a pretty great EP called “Heaven and Hell” earlier in the year that I dug, so I made sure I got to this gig in time to see some of their set. That EP features a cover of one of my most favoritest songs of all time, “Hybrid Moments” by The Misfits, and it’s a pretty interesting take on the song. I was really hoping they would play it at the show, but they didn’t; alas, I was stuck listening to their original material. Luckily, their own songs are pretty good as well, keyboard-driven emotive pop songs (but not really “emo” mind you) that musically made for a pretty fitting opener for The Appleseed Cast. The lyrics are a little over-dramatic for my tastes, but then again I usually don’t pay much attention to lyrics anyways - they just kinda stuck out a in a live setting. They closed up shop with their track “Joyless, Joyless,” probably their best song that isn’t a Misfits cover and the highlight of the evening from them.
Like every other time I’ve seen them, Appleseed Cast were more than brilliant. More than half of their set was instrumental and they seem to be moving more in that direction as near as I can tell…not that I mind. I still don’t get the comparisons to Radiohead I’ve seen in places on these guys - to me, if they have any specific sound at all it’s that of the mid-era Cure when their guitars were at their swirliest, with maybe a little Explosions in the Sky/Mogwai post-rockiness thrown in for good measure. And worth a special note is the drummer for the Cast - the dude is an obvious drum nerd, you can just tell by the way he sounds (plus he’s one of those guys who wears shirts advertising drumming merchandise); his pitch and tone and all that other music jargon couldn’t be any more perfect, and the drum parts for every song are always exactly as they should be. He really reminds me of Doug Schiarin in his near robot-like abilities to sound that good. This band has an emo rap (they were on the Deep Elm, so it’s not unfounded) that has stuck with them despite how their sound has evolved; no doubt more folks would fall in love with this band if it wasn’t for the albatross around their neck. Seriously, everyone should do themselves a favor and check out both of their Low Level Owl discs and Two Conversations, some of my favorite recordings of the last few years.
Read our previous Appleseed Cast review:
August 24, 2003 @ Bottom of the Hill