The Appleseed Cast Low Level Owl

Having already established themselves as one of the most remarkable, fearless and innovative emo bands around, the Appleseed Cast have raised the bar once again with this two-volume, 26-track sonic soundscape. Released as two separate discs, Low Level Owl is like an indie rock version of Radiohead's complimentary Kid A and Amnesiac discs. TAC has poured what feels like a whole career's worth of effort into the set. Tracks blend together and alternate between ambient experimental white noise and up-tempo dual guitar rockers with everything in between. It offers up equally huge nods to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. Producer Ed Rose, who has quickly established himself as the George Martin of emo rock, does a spectacular job of capturing both the subtleties of the experimental side of the records and the full-throttle rock. Although sold separately, the two volumes demand to be played together. Clocking in at almost two hours, they require a commitment form the listener, but the rewards are well worth the effort. After all, art is meant to be challenging and provocative as well as entertaining. (Deep Elm)