Monday, October 7, 2013

Artist of the Day: Legs Like Tree Trunks

I’ve never really understood why bands sell cassettes these days. I mean, I guess I get that it’s a cool vintage collectible novelty, kind of like vinyl, but the art is nowhere near as big, which is always a big selling point for me, you have to rewind to listen and they are way too easy to lose in your car (guilty as charged), so whenever I see a band selling these little gimmicks, I tend to pass them over. But so help me, when Legs Like Tree Trunks put up a colored cassette of their 2012 release, Future Reference, for sale, with an extremely limited amount of copies, I ripped out may wallet and grabbed one immediately without ever giving it a second thought.

These Pittsburgh musicians take the melodic strengths of TTNG guitar lines and combine them with a slightly less off-the-wall rhythm section, with most of their songs clocking in at under three minutes. Enacting a more conventional approach to writing could be a horrible misstep for this style of music if not done properly, but Legs Like Tree Trunks pulls it off wonderfully and still finds time to weave in plenty of surprises along the way. “Snowflake” opens Future Reference perfectly with a great mellow verse and chorus, and the unexpected post-rock/ambient outro comes to be one of the true strengths of the record. My personal favorite, “WADM,” employs the use of fast, punky drumming under the delicate guitar riffs before exploding into a gigantic, euphoric bridge of gang vocals, with everyone screaming “I won’t stay down!” over the swelling chords. The opening riff replays at the song’s conclusion, but now, the timing has been readjusted to 7/8—a perfect, subtle expansion on the previously introduced elements of the track, and these nuances will keep you replaying Future Reference for months on end.

It’s already impressive that this band was able to convince me to buy a medium of music to which I have no means of listening, but it’s even more impressive that I feel completely comfortable with my purchase even when I’m well-aware of the fact that all I can really do with my tape is look at it. Simply put, Legs Like Tree Trunks is truly a good enough band to warrant such a purchase, and their 2012 EP certainly deserves a permanent spot on anyone’s indie/alternative playlist this year, while we impatiently wait for their debut full-length.


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