Wednesday, January 18, 2012

And Also The Trees


"The senile sea numbers each single
Slim silvered stone."

One day while browsing whatever online music store came before Amazon came around and bought them out, I stumbled upon an album I bought merely because the name of the band was interesting.  The name And Also The Trees struck me as one of the greatest things I had ever heard... How could a band be even remotely bad with a name like that?  If anything, it was bound to be interesting.

I guess you could say I was "intrigued"... So I bought the one album I saw by them, "Angelfish," and I waited for it to arrive.  A few weeks later (this was the mid-90's), my first And Also The Trees disc arrived (arrove?), and I put it into my player only to be struck by this:

"Brother Fear"

Well boy howdy!  If that wasn't just the neatest thing... and it only got better with every song.  I tend to describe it as "Kids In The Hall music, with Jim Morrison on vocals."  Kind of an odd description, but it fits.

So, as I tend to do, I looked up more music by this sort-of "surf-goth" band.  I bought a few more albums and scoured the still-forming internet for information on their history.  Turns out, they've been around for a long, long time.

A British band formed in 1979, they actually toured with The Cure early on in both of their careers.  I don't remember where I read it, but I recall an interview with Robert Smith saying that And Also The Trees was his inspiration for The Cure's change towards writing "darker" music... and anyone who is familiar with the earliest (happy pop music) era of The Cure, this explains a lot.

In fact, the first few And Also The Trees albums (having been produced by some Cure band members), do sound rather similar musically to post-"Boys Don't Cry" Cure.  I suppose you could call the "contemporaries" in the Darkwave scene, if you really felt so inclined.

"Midnight Garden"

Most of the earlier work was fairly typical of the 80's gothic sound, filled with airy synth, twangy guitars, rumbling bass, and melancholy vocals...

"Red Valentino"

In the late 90's with the "Angelfish" album and followed by "Silver Soul", the band veered towards a sound sometimes described as "Brittan's view of Americana." Something fresh out of a David Lynch film.

"Rose-Marie's Leaving"

Over the past decade or so, they've released a few more albums, which are always a pain to find. Usually I have to import them through Amazon, but occasionally I can find them in indie record shops... but every so often, I check up to see if there's anything new from them. (Such as a new album coming in March, apparently!)

"The Beautiful Silence"

And Also The Trees is definitely one of my favourite bands, and it still makes me laugh that it was an impulse buy.  When you have no clue what you're in for and buy an album based solely on the band name, it's going to be either hit or miss, and this was definitely a massive hit.