The newest EP from Lawrence, Kan. band the Appleseed Cast is diverse despite being just four songs. The first track, "End Frigate Constellation," layers atmospheric feedback, unconventional rock drumming and chords shiny as sunbeams. Christopher Crisci's vocals remind me of Built to Spill's Doug Martsch or emo-rockers the Dambuilders, but as though those bands had been launched into space and were being heard solely through the filter of heavenly bodies.
"Interlude" is fine. If you're trying to actively listen to this track, it requires some patience. There's a bell-like melody among static and echo-y space voices, but it's experimental in an unsurprising way. In contrast, "Middle States" employs clear guitar picking and shimmering Shins-like vocals. Finally, "Three Rivers" is 14 minutes long and emulates a river at dusk when the sun sets on it, but the heavy drum beats keep it wild.
The whole EP is both cerebral and moody. Some of the long repetition just makes it feel self-indulgent and jammy and boring. But the yearning textures it creates are those I wouldn't mind hearing on the road to a red rock desert or a beach filled with bonfires.
The Appleseed Cast plays the Badlander Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 9 PM with Hospital Ships, Sick Kids XOXO and the Turnoffs. $5.