Based on its latest record, Two Conversations, Kansas-via-Los-Angeles quintet the Appleseed Cast comprehends how this emo philosophy came into being. Songs float along slowly for brief moments before audacious bouts of rocking out. It's during the floating moments that the narrator of each song, supported by tinkling, delayed guitars and behind-the-beat drums, wonders where he fits into the overall scheme of things. But moods here change like superhero alter egos: In an instant, the very same narrator, now entrenched in driving rock guitars and tambourines, professes both his love and understanding of this here universe. The moods recall the atmospheric pop-prog of U2 and Pink Floyd, two influences many emo bands incorporate without even realizing it.
What separates the Cast from its contemporaries is that it pays close attention to how its instrumental dynamic embraces the emotion of the lyric at hand. This attention to detail and emotion will likely be an important asset in its future endeavors, and we can only hope that, at some point, the band will find a way to dilute its influences completely, in favor of its own new brand of conveying emotion -- something, perhaps, distinct from this thing so widely referred to as emo.