The Appleseed Cast: Middle States

The Appleseed Cast: Middle States
The Appleseed Cast are one of the few bands that survived the late-90s/early-2000’s emo boom without selling out. They did so by constantly evolving from a Sunny Day Real Estate-inspired group into the atmospheric post-rock band they are today. After a well reviewed seventh album, 2009’s Sagarmatha, everyone is waiting to see what the Appleseed Cast does next. What is next is an as-of-yet-untitled eighth album due out in early 2012, but to quell the anticipation, the group released the mini-lp, Middle States.
The mini-lp is four tracks spread across 28 minutes. The four tracks include a track called “Interlude” which is hardly a track at all but more like ambient talking behind guitar feedback. The track helps set up the pathos of the album but is not really a “song.”
The actual songs on Middle States are a mix between the golden age of indie/emo, atmospheric rock, and jam bands. Take the album’s title song for instance. The track features the type of guitar work that were the mainstay of Death Cab for Cutie‘s The Photo Album but mixes it with the lush sounds of Mineral. The song has a passive/aggressive style that builds into an ending crescendo of deafening fuzzed-out guitars.
The mini-lp works as a nice hint to fans as to what direction Appleseed Cast’s next album will be heading. Sagarmatha was mostly built on instrumentals and rejected some of their previous hook laden work; Middle States seems to be adding vocals to a lot of the songs that would have just been instrumentals on Sagarmatha; the result is an album that is pretty engaging albeit a little bit drawn out in places.
Rating: 7.8/10
MP3: The Appleseed Cast “Middle States”
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