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Monday, August 29, 2011

The Appleseed Cast -- Middle States

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8/10
Predicting which direction The Appleseed Cast will go at any given moment is pretty much impossible. I guess this year they realized they hadn't released an EP before, so now was the time. EP's are usually pretty hit and miss, as the shortage of material often makes the purchase seem wasteful. Of course, if you are The Appleseed Cast, your EP is longer than a Weezer LP, so...
The Appleseed Cast titled their EP Middle States for a reason. "End Frigate Constellation" goes through various permutations of rock and static, hints of clarity, and chaos. It's at once atypical for the band, and just the kind of song you would expect from them. It sounds like driving through the night, and leads directly into the radio-static-filled, beautiful "Interlude," sort of the middle state between the chaos of "End Frigate Constellation," and the clear, beautiful clarity of "Middle States." The intro to "Middle States," a delicately plucked acoustic interplaying with an electric lead, gives the feeling of the safety of home. Home for the Appleseed Cast is Kansas, which is about as middle a state as you can get.

Listen to The Appleseed Cast's "Middle States"

So, you just recorded a nice musical statement, already reaching a catharsis in fourteen minutes. Most bands can't even accomplish that over the length of a full album, let alone three songs. Time to call it a night? Nah, how about one more song that doubles the entire EP's length? "Three Rivers" is another first for the band--it is an entirely improvised track, recorded live. It contains a significant feeling of mystery, and almost feels like an instrumental re-interpretation of the previous fourteen minutes. Though it goes without saying at this point, like pretty much everything The Appleseed Cast have recorded, "Three Rivers" is beautiful.
This EP is debuting just as The Appleseed Cast are in the middle of preparation for their next LP. Who knows where these new rivers will flow? I can't wait to find out.

2011 Graveface Records
1. End Frigate Constellation 5:49
2. Interlude 2:55
3. Middle States 5:12
4. Three Rivers 14:03

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