These Kansas natives don't cast their seeds too far from the Built to Spill tree, and their tangled knots of guitar riffs would certainly make Doug Martsch proud. But while Built to Spill took their influences from groups like Dinosaur Jr., The Appleseed Cast draw inspiration from the pioneers of early emo – most notably Sunny Day Real Estate. They're fully capable of navigating extended jams, as is evidenced by this video's hypnotic instrumental opener. At the same time, The Appleseed Cast know the worth of a good melody, and their pop sensibilities share equal space equal space with the band's improvisation abilities.
Ethereal guitar arpeggios chime over involved drumbeats. Bass notes provide a plucked foundation. Vocals split the spotlight with swirling guitar solos. Your mom always told you that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but you'll probably want to consume this brand of sonic sweetness on an hourly basis instead.
- Andrew Leahey
Lawrence, KS-based emo quartet Appleseed Cast were originally comprised of singer/guitarist Christopher Crisci, guitarist Aaron Pillar, bassist Jason Wickersheim, and drummer Louie Ruiz. Signing to Deep Elm, the group made its debut on the 1998 label sampler Records for the Working Class, releasing the full-length The End of the Ring Wars later that same year. In 1999 Appleseed Cast (now with new drummer Josh Baruth) released a new single, "Skatter Ik Ignito," as well as a split EP with labelmates Planes Mistaken for Stars and Race Car Riot; Mare Vitalis followed in early 2000, heavily showcasing Baruth's complicated beats and the band's overall dense, atmospheric sound. Despite the hints of a new direction, the album couldn't have prepared fans for the two Low Level Owl albums released in 2001. Complex, delicate, and highly experimental, these two records took a cue from Radiohead's Kid A and sent the band careening into space rock and electronica with only traces of emo poking through. The records weren't nearly as commercially accepted, but their overall bravery showed that the band was prepared to make stylistic leaps.
The next year, Lost Songs brought four unreleased tracks from 1999 and five new songs together onto one album. Overdubbing new elements over the older songs, Appleseed Cast blended the tense emo of their early work and the broad experimentation of their new material. The band returned in 2003 with Two Conversations (Tiger Style), which continued to explore atmospheric texture in the framework of traditional rock & roll. An extensive tour followed the LP's release. The band next went on a brief hiatus following Tiger Style's demise, but soon returned with renewed energy and a new label. Peregrine appeared in March 2006 on Militia Group before hitting the road with dates on both coasts. By this time, the band consisted of founding members Crisci and Pillar, along with bassist Marcus Young and drummer Nathan Richardson (ex-the Casket Lottery).