Oct 2011 12

Scattered Trees - SympathyScattered Trees
Category: Indie rock
Album: Sympathy
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: A lovely album that excels at being one hell of a downer.



A band made of friends and family that grew up together in the Chicago area always playing in different bands, Scattered Trees finally brings these “scattered” members together into one unit. The debut album Sympathy was a long in the making labor of love that was finally spurred to completion by personal tragedy. While mourning the death of his father, lead singer Nate Eiesland wrote the album and his sorrow and pain definitely comes through in the overall tone of the work.

Sympathy starts off rather troubling with the excessively overdramatic but largely uneventful “Bury the Floors,” which feels like a four minute build to nowhere. From there, things don’t improve much with “A Conversation About Death on New Year’s Eve,” a very simplistic and forgettable track that does show off some great vocal ability but is awash with overly typical sad and regretful indie rock lyrics. It isn’t until “Love and Leave” where Scattered Trees really starts showing some personality feeling like a light and more melancholy take on the Pixies. “Four Days Straight” is easily the highlight of the album with its infectious guitar chord progressions and catchy chorus that is hard not to sing along with. Unfortunately, it is one of the only moderately upbeat tracks of the album and from this point it spirals into a series of progressively more melancholy songs that are as depressing as they are lovely.

There is obviously a lot of talent in Scattered Trees and Sympathy is a highly emotionally charged album, but the sometimes thin composition and overly morose and sometimes sappy tone can get a bit hard to stomach as it plays out. Though the album may have been therapeutic for Eiesland, many may find it to be too bleak with too few breaks in tone to really find enjoyment in it. Even with Sympathy‘s tonal issues, the album is unquestioningly pretty and feels like a perfect fit for those looking for something to listen to while they wallow in self pity.

Track list:

  1. Bury the Floors
  2. A Conversation About Death on New Year’s Eve
  3. Love and Leave
  4. Four Days Straight
  5. Sympathy
  6. Five Minutes
  7. Where You Came From
  8. I Swear to God
  9. On Your Side

Scattered Trees Website http://scatteredtreesmusic.com
Scattered Trees MySpace http://www.myspace.com/scatteredtreesmusic
Scattered Trees Facebook http://www.facebook.com/scatteredtrees
Roll Call Records Website http://rollcallrecords.com

Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3


Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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