By: Jessica Suarez
Lineup changes alone can derail even the strongest band — never mind record label difficulties and personal problems. But Lawrence, Kansas’ Appleseed Cast emerged from all of the above tougher for the experience. After six years together and four full-length albums, including 2001’s breakthrough double album, Low Level Owl, the band underwent internal problems, and their label for 2003’s Two Conversations, the much-missed Tigerstyle Records, folded.
Instead of calling it quits, the Appleseed Cast took a much-needed hiatus. Drummer Josh Baruth left the band, and Nathan Richardson came on board. Then the foursome, including Chris Crisci (vocals/guitar), Aaron Pillar (guitar), and Marc Young (bass), began working on their fifth full-length, Peregrine, an album that combines the emotional, aggressive sound of their earliest releases with the dynamic and experimental work that characterized their later albums.
Peregrine bears the scars of Appleseed Cast’s past. Whatever personal or band problems the group endured, they’re exorcized them on this album’s contemplative instrumentals, beginning with the echoing opener, “Celebration,” which climbs and dives over its four minutes. Peregrine is a female name associated with restless wandering, and it’s also the name of the daughter in the album’s recurring storyline. Here Peregrine is a ghost, a daughter, a reminder of secrets waiting to be dug up. Woven around Peregrine‘s 13 tracks is a horror story of violence and familial guilt, which Crisci makes all the more easy to imagine with his plaintive voice. It would be a bit scary if the songs weren’t so lush and pretty.
Hiatus now over, the Appleseed Cast can celebrate ten years together this tour — if only nature would let them. “For the second time in a week we were stuck in a snow storm and had to cancel the show,” they wrote on their website last week. But we think they’ll pull through.
The Appleseed Cast tour dates:
3/25, Lawrence, KS (The Bottleneck) 4/6, Madison, WI (Club 770)*4/7, Iowa City, IA (Gabe’s Oasis)*4/8, Chicago, IL (The Beat Kitchen – early all-ages show)*4/8, Chicago, IL (The Beat Kitchen – late show 21+)* 4/10, Lansing, MI (Mac’s Bar)*4/11, Buffalo, NY (Mohawk Place)+4/12, Cambridge, MA (Middle East Downstairs)+^4/13, Wallingford, CT (Wallingford American Legion)+^4/14, Philadelphia, PA (First Unitarian Church)+^4/15, Brooklyn, NY (Northsix)+^4/16, Baltimore, MD (The Ottobar)+^4/17, Wilmington, NC (The Soapbox)+^4/18, Chapel Hill, NC (The Wetlands Dance Hall)+^4/19, Atlanta, GA (The Drunken Unicorn)+^4/20, Tampa, FL (Transitions Art Gallery)+4/21, Gainesvile, FL (Common Grounds)+4/22, Orlando, FL (Will’s Pub)+4/23, St. Augustine, FL (Cafï¿½ Eleven)+4/24, Athens, GA (Caledonia Lounge)+4/25, Nashville, TN (The End)+4/26, St. Louis, MO (Creepy Crawl)+4/27, Kansas City, MO (Record Bar)+
*with Lying in States +with Aloha ^with Victory at Sea