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coverpic flag US - Kansas - Full Moon 117 - 04/13/06

The Appleseed Cast
The Militia Group/Racing Junior

This is the seventh longplayer by the Lawrence, Kansas foursome. I have never heard any of their earlier recordings. Several Europeans have, though. The previous albums have sold so well as imports that Racing Junior in Norway decided to distribute Peregrine in Europe.

At first I was not impressed. The album had grand drum and guitar sounds throughout. Several shoegazing rock'n'roll instrumental parts and reverb- and echo-drenched songs, I thought. The production sounded closer to late 1980s or early 90s Britain than contemporary Northern Americas. Some songs drove my attention in the direction of Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine, even Sisters Of Mercy and the Cure. After some spins variations and details were revealed. The band certainly know how to handle quiet acoustic parts and noise as effective dynamic means. The opening instrumental "Ceremony" (oh yeah!) is a good example, starting very quietly with a sole quiet guitar, then some looming noises creep in followed by a majestic almost goth theme that's cut in two by a couple of happy whistling-sounding bars. Here's also the power ballad "Sunlit And Ascending", the traditional American rocker "Here We Are (Family In The Hallways)", the close to Cure pastiche (all right) "February", the fuzz-rock delight with a twist "A Fate Delivered", the pretty and ominous experimental "Sila's Knife", the final instrumental countdown "The Clock And The Storm" floating off in different acoustic and electric directions etc. It's difficult to catch the lyrics without the printed words in front of me. But I guess the songs and the title track in particular is closer to everyday troubled life than the adventures of Peregrine 'Pippin' Took in The Lord Of The Rings, so to speak.

The Appleseed Cast is touring the USA in April and will go to Europe for May and June. Check out their home page for further information.

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