Economy of Effort

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Caspian The Four Trees (2007)

Caspian - The Four Trees

2007, Dopamine Records

Style: post-rock, post-rock, very post-rock

Post-rock may be the pizza of the music world - even when it’s bad (or, at the very least, generic), it’s still pretty good.

The Four Trees is the debut album from the Massachusetts based band Caspian. The group first gained attention with their first EP, which was well-received if criticized for being too similar to the music of Explosions in the Sky. The first few tracks on The Four Trees does little to give the listener the impression that things are any different this time around. However, later tracks show the band incorporating some more elements into their sound, even if those elements too are post-rock staples.

When it comes down to it, if you’ve heard of post-rock, you’ve heard this all before. What’s surprising is how well Caspian pulls it off anyway. Despite the unshakable familiarity of the whole album, it doesn’t sound like a second-rate copy. The instruments are sharp. The compositions are quite good, with lack of originality being the only immediate complaint to offer. The recording quality is solid and well-mixed, avoiding the messy sound other second-tier post-rock recordings tend to have during the loud crescendos. All in all, it’s a pretty nice package.

Given that this is the group’s first full-length release, there is hope for the future. These guys play too well to stay in the copycat artist camp. Hopefully they come to evolve into a more distinct sound of their own. Heavy fans of the post-rock genre will find plenty to like here, while everyone else should just stay tuned and keep an eye out for album #2.

Caspian - Moksha