The Appleseed Cast
Mare Vitalis (Deep Elm)
by Tim Den
Holy mother of surprise, Batman. The Appleseed Cast has outdone themselves with Mare Vitalis, the follow-up to their debut,The End of the Ring Wars. Whereas the debut was a hands-down, rippin’, emotional kicker that played within the boundaries of Sunny Day Real Estate and Mineral, nothing more opposite could be said about this new record. The Appleseed Cast has managed to capture all the raw pain of the first release, contain it in a not-as-melodramatic format, and learned to play more than power chords!! Imagine that! A wave of dark depression now pours out of the speakers like only seasoned manic depressives can deliver. Gone are the over-the-top, look-at-me-I’m-emo chug’n’yelps (that I’m actually guilty of liking). Clean pickings, chop-filled polyrhythms, laid-back vocals, songs written using more than the D major progression: Is this the same band? More importantly: Is this still an “emo” band? Who the fuck cares… This is some good shit.
The beginning of “Fishing the Sky” alone is enough to convince me that “I need to play this as much as possible!” Beautiful, serene melodies that transport you out of your miserable life to a… uh… even more miserable place (albeit with a sense of rebirth along the way). Perhaps adding a “The” in front of their name made our boys feel more at home with their Midwestern indie scene (The Promise Ring, The Get Up Kids, yap yap yap), but I sure am proud of The Appleseed Cast for embracing the instrumental-heavy vibe that their region has trademarked. Along with American Football and Mock Orange, The Appleseed Cast is on their way to becoming multi-string picking, tranquility-deliverin’, remind-you-of-your-ex champs of indie rock.