Appleseed Cast, based in Kansas, is an emo-core band that plays lushly arranged,
oddly melodic and painfully personal music.
Chris Crisci (vocals), Aaron Pillar (guitar), Louie Ruiz (drums) and Jason Wickersheim (bass, saxophone, piano) formed the band in the second half of the 1990s.
The End of The Ring Wars (Deep Elm, 1998) was a formative work of great
promise, as the singer took front stage with his
mournful, soul-baring, cathartic stories, while the players displayed a knack
for crafting atmospheric soundscapes and integrating saxophone and piano in
The overall effect was that of a heavier, sadder
Sunny Day Real Estate.
New drummer Josh Baruth joined the band for the single Skatter Ik Ignito.
The second album, Mare Vitalis (Deep Elm, 2000), assimilated the
instrumental lesson of Built To Spill and the oneiric
quality of dream-pop, while keeping the vocals centerstage.
The Immortal Soul of Mundo Cani,
Fishing The Sky,
Forever Longing The Golden Sunsets,
And Nothing Less,
Appleseed Cast continued its evolution by recording two ambitious albums,
each a mixture of instrumentals and songs. The compositions are lengthy and
the arrangements are thicker, laden with psychedelic drones, sound effects
and tape loops.
Low Level Owl: Volume 1 (Deep Elm, 2001) includes
Blind Man's Arrow and
Flowers Falling from Dying Hands.
The standouts on Low Level Owl: Volume 2 (Deep Elm, 2001)
are Strings and A Place in Line, plus the
instrumentals Ring out the Warning Bell and Sunset Drama King.
Lengthier pieces such as The Argument and Confession are
mixed bags: intriguing and bizarre, but quite self-indulgent too.
The two albums were later collected on the triple-LP
Low Level Owl I & II (Gilead, 2006).
Low Level Owl: Volume I
A1 The Waking Of Pertelotte
A2 On Reflection
A3 Blind Man's Arrow
A4 Flowers Falling From Dying Hands
A6 Doors Lead To Questions
B1 Steps And Numbers
B3 Bird Of Paradise
B4 Mile Marker
C2 A Tree For Trials
C4 View Of A Burning City
Low Level Owl: Volume II
D1 View Of A Burning City
D3 A Place In Line
D4 Shaking Hands
D5 Rooms And Gardens
E1 Ring Out The Warning Bell
E2 Sunset Drama King
E3 The Last In Line
F2 The Argument
Chris Crisci and Aaron Pillar are behind a side-project,
Hundred Hands, whose debut EP, Little Eyes (Deep Elm, 2001),
could be appended to the Low Level Owl albums. The six songs are
formally even more to the point. The main difference is that here the
guitar is centerstage.
Lost Songs (Deep Elm, 2002) collects unreleased material.
Two Conversations (Tiger Style, 2003) is a much more accessible
Peregrine (Militia Group, 2006) was a concept album that simply
lacked the emo-grade intensity of their beginnings while creating little
of substance in the sonic department.
Sagarmatha (Militia Group, 2009)
was full of instrumentals that better displayed their post-rock credentials.
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