The Appleseed Cast

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author TL date 06/11/13 venue Templet, Lyngby, DEN

If you have consistent enough success as a band, your name will eventually become one that every curious music fan is going to repeatedly stumble upon in this age of constantly trawling the internet for new bands. The Appleseed Cast is one such band, and one that it can seem an overwhelming task to get into for new fans, given that the sheer volume of their eight LP discography makes it hard to figure out where to start. It's proven a challenge to me at least, especially since I'm not much of a post-rocker - often having my problems staying attentive during too prolonged stretches of strictly instrumental music.

Huge thanks goes out to Henrik Hulander for helping us with the pictures for this article! Check out a full gallery at his flickr!

Still, our own LF is coming over from Aarhus, suggesting to me that we should definitely not miss the opportunity to at least check out what the band's quasi-legendary status is all about, so despite the fact that I've just come back from seeing a billion bands in Florida and am still jet-lagged as hell, I can't but agree with her as we head up to Templet in Lyngby, only to find out that not only has the intended support act gone MIA, the headliners are also late, meaning that there's more than enough time to have a few beers and get acquainted with Templet's renovated surroundings (I haven't been here for a while) before showtime.

The Appleseed Cast

The Kansas quartet eventually appear on stage, manning drums, bass, two guitars and a small Korg keyboard and launching into the first in their batch of elaborate progressions. Considering their reknown and their genre, it comes as no surprise to quickly notice that the band plays with superbly well-rehearsed precision, with each musician carefully timing each and every note or drum hit to make sure things fit together in the intricately woven musical tapestries. The rhythm section is vivid and varied without being forceful other than when it needs to be, and the guitars intertwine elegantly, like two birds tying ribbons on Cinderella's dress.

The members of the band appear casual on stage, grooving about in relatively relaxed manner while playing, and with guitarist Taylor Helenbeck replying to comments from the crowd with a smile while sipping on red wine between songs. Fellow guitarist and singer/keyboardist Chris Crisci apologises for some apparent damages done to the band's gear in transit, accounting for some feedback between songs that seems minimal compared to what's the norm at rock shows, and which I doubt anyone would have noticed had he not pointed it out himself.

But then it seems clear that what The Appleseed Cast are is precisely a group taking pride in being in absolute perfect control of their sounds, as even the slight changes in ringing feedback that bookends some tracks, seem as important parts of the compositions as the actual notes being played. Yet with everything sounding so perfectly orchestrated, I can't help but to feel that Cricsi's vocals, when they are eventually called upon, come out a bit breath- and powerless, which strikes me as a bit of a shame when the band has decided to employ them in the first place, touching a controversial issue in post-rock in general.

As a whole though the set is a masterfully played, yet noticeably relaxed Tuesday night show, which has people swaying gently in the moderately populated venue room, applauding appreciatively between songs. The compositions are dynamic and superbly timed, rarely dwelling for too long on any one part, yet despite the impressive array of effect pedals employed, the shifts in tone both in and between songs can be hard to keep track of for the uniniated, which means that the feeling veers between the enchantingly dreamy and the slightly sleepy, particularly for those of us that aren't too familiar with the band's discography beforehand. Overall though, while I think post-rock's inherent inhibitions are hence showcased, I think the genre's justification is equally on display as well, during the dramatically building instrumental progressions where you really feel like there's no place for vocals in the first place. Eventually then, it's a fascinating evening for two post-rock newbies, albeit never an outright explosive one.


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