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Artist: The Appleseed Cast
©2009 The Militia Group
Wow! Let me lead off with that understanding that I really love this disc! It’s rare that someone so jaded and opinionated gets blown away but something from the first spin. 

The Appleseed Cast has an interesting history and, based on my research, have evolved to this very interesting point. Sagarmatha sounds to me as if someone used reference points from my past, the much beloved Factory Records and 4AD bands and filtered them through today’s pigeonhole of “post-rock.” Ultimately, this does them a disservice because I find them way more interesting than much of what passes for post-rock these days. Sure, it’s largely instrumental and melodic. What often draws me into music is the sense of the grandiose tempered with an undercurrent of melancholy. The Appleseed Cast does it very well; they avoid lapsing into cliché or sounding like another Isis, Saxon Shore or Unwed Sailor and yet somehow manage to incorporate ingredients found in each. Vocals appear on rare occasions and are largely used as another instrument, largely unintelligible and low in the mix. 

The construction and performance is top notch. There is a breathing room in the songs and yet it avoids sounding too arid or less immediate. “The Summer Before” just destroys me. Vocals are a little more akin to a traditional rock song, but the sense of longing and beauty just permeate the track. It was a nice touch to change the snare sound on the track too. The late Martin Hannett (producer of Joy Division, A Certain Ratio etc....) said the snare drum is what drives rock and roll and time should be spent accordingly to attain an appropriate sound for the track you’re recording.

Dang it, why aren’t there more CD’s like this coming out today?


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