Appleseed Cast - Peregrine (Cover Artwork)

Appleseed Cast

Peregrine (2006)

The Militia Group

Progressive. Experimental. Indie. These are a few of the titles attributed to the Lawrence, Kansas group, the Appleseed Cast. Coming out of a hiatus after 2003's Two Conversations and signing with the popular indie label The Militia Group, the Appleseed Cast have returned with new focus and a fresh sound. After their acclaimed albums, Low Level Owl Volumes 1 and 2, in which the band created their signature ambient rock sound, they released Two Conversations, which was seen as a disappointment, as it strayed away from the previous unorthodox sound and adopted a "pop song" structure. Blending elements from these releases, Peregrine proves to be the equilibrium.

True to form, the Cast continues to push boundaries and experiment with new sounds and song production. Peregrine blurs individual track separation letting the album instead speak as one continuous story. This continuity is aided by the live atmosphere, where singer Chris Crisci's emotional vocals reverberate in a soundscape of distortion (as in "Here We Are (Family in the Hallways)") or fight against heavy percussion (as in "Mountain Halo"). Accompanying the eerie vocals, the pounding bass of Marc Young progresses and shapes the story, while the guitars of Aaron Pillar and Crisci create the pathos in Peregrine. "Ceremony," "An Orange and a Blue," and "The Clock and the Storm" are instrumental tracks that serve to introduce, separate, and conclude the Peregrine tale by telling a story in their own right.

Fans of both Low Levels will be glad to hear these songs, as well as songs such as "Song 3," while those of Two Conversations will enjoy "February" and "Sunlit Ascending." Peregrine proves to be a well-balanced, experimental album in the face of the commercialized and uniform world of modern rock.