Listening to Peregrine, the Appleseed Cast's forthcoming album, you'd never know that the group got its start as an emo outfit named December's Tragic Drive in Lawrence, Kansas, during the late '90s. While peers such as the Get Up Kids have taken their adolescent emoting into alt-country territory, the Appleseed Cast has chosen a much-less-traveled road. Although there is still a heart-on-the-sleeve sincerity to frontman Chris Crisci's songs, the stylistic and technical experimentation on Peregrine recalls groups as diverse as Death Cab for Cutie, Weezer and My Morning Jacket. Experimenting with multiple genres and subjecting pedal-pushing live performances to chopped-and-screwed studio manipulations, the Cast has developed a unique sound quilt that is simultaneously organic and inhuman. Like a caged and enraged gorilla, new drummer Nathan Richardson (from Coalesce and the Casket Lottery) brings a restrained brute force to the proceedings, while producer John Congleton gives the quartet plenty of room to roam. Expect an engrossing show as this seasoned outfit pulls off these tricks live.
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