Mostly Trees – Mostly Trees (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

I often look down a band’s list of influences and think, those might be the bands which you would like to sound like, but I bet you don’t come close. I’m normally right, that’s not to say that the bands are not worth a listen, it’s just that they seem to lull you into a false sense of security when they should really have the confidence of their own musical convictions. Mostly Trees mention some cool bands in their bio, from Radiohead to Wilco and for once I think that they are justified in doing so.

As the eponymous album spins through the tracks you hear echoes of Radiohead’s non-conformity, Wilco’s artsy take on the Americana sound, Kings of Leons anthemic blends of alternative and mainstream as well as some post-grunge weight and shoegazesque soundscaping. And on top of that they still manage to come out sounding new, fresh nd relevant. I mean, you could probably make a few safe guesses as to what’s in their record collections but first and foremost they are their own men.

Champagne is that perfect blend of shimmering guitar work, and rock weight and drive, Seen It All sees them at their heaviest, a grungy yet melodic mesh of guitars sometimes chiming and soaring other times just doing what rock and roll does best, making a joyous noise. High in The Trees has some almost Floydian touches before it heads down the college rock route and Fell Off Of It proves that they can do a lot more than just crash the power chords being a gossamer weave of gentle sonic textures which spiral around each other, sometimes complimenting, sometimes contrasting, always creating.

American bands in particular have been making music like this since the mid-eighties but there is a reason why it hasn’t gone away…because there is still so much new to be done with it, given the right band. All you need is a bunch of forward-thinking musicians with a knowledge of contemporary music history, big imaginations and a desire to write the next chapter of American alt-rock. It’s safe to say that Mostly Trees are just the band for the job.

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