I don't have much personally invested in the Appleseed Cast. I like them well enough, I guess. But when some critic tries to take down a local band with arguments so off base as to seem pulled out of a jar like raffle tickets, I gotta rally 'round the family.
So, Appleseed fans, go here and give this Matt Emery character what for.
It's the critic's job to voice his opinion, sure, and often those opinions upset people (especially the musicians and their dumb girlfriends) but this review is insulting to anyone with ears for music.
Maybe the opening of "Here We Are" does sound vaguely like that Death Cab song, but Emery's claims that Appleseed Cast is trying to sell out (by attracting mainstream audience) with this album are recockulous. You don't even have to be familiar with Peregrine at all, to doubt Emery's claim, "Even a song like 'Woodland Hunter, Part 2' has the band selling out to an adult contemporary market." What kind of band would title a song they wanted to be a radio hit "Woodland Hunter (Part II)"!? Have they been playing Midlake and the Decemberists in grocery stores up in Michigan the past four years and we just didn't know? Did they interview Colin Meloy on TRL last week and I missed it? If anything on Peregrine is AC, then Trout Mask Replica is Benny Fuckin' Goodman.
Emery further hurts his credibility by comparing (hilariously) Cast singer Cris Crisci to Gavin Rossdale of Bush, qualifying him as "pre-Gwen-Stefani." For a critic to hear a male singer, any male singer, with a slight baritone growl, and think "a-ha, Gavin Rossdale!", that just shows that the critic has listened to Bush in the recent past, perhaps even voluntarily, and that alone damages credibility. I noticed a similar faux pas in another out-of-town review of one of our local bands. In this review of Bodisartha, the writer not only mentions Creed, but name-drops the guitarist, saying, "With a definite nod towards Seattle from this Kansas City trio, there is something that is punkier, but with a gritty guitar howl that seems influenced by Mark Tremonti." (Italics mine.) He's right to mention Nirvana in the review (I did, too), but when I read that, I pulled a complete He Did Not and put Mark Tremonti's name into Google to make sure.
This blogging/online publishing shit is scary, man. For as long as an article is up (or reprinted or quoted), it's a permanent record that's accessible to anyone in the world any time of day or night.
So, tell me if I'm the one who's wrong. Go to the MySpace of "Seed" and listen for as long as it takes you to realize this writer's crazy wrong. (And then, go check out the cute 19-year-old British girl whose MySpace address is inexplicably www.myspace.com/appleseedcast.)
Thanks to Andrew for finding this review and being the first to blow the shit whistle.