More Like Trees
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More Like Trees

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British band More Like Trees are an interesting lot. Bursting out of the very competitive London music scene the band have only been together for two years and in that short time have made quite the name for themselves. Why? Well this three piece group do something very few groups manage to do...rock the heck out on acoustic instruments. Yeah, you read that right...these guys kill it on acoustic guitars.

Their album Roots, Shoots, and Leaves is an impressive effort that's so far away from what your thinking it's not even fair to think of it. The band and this record is beyond energetic and packed with sweeping drama and an almost mariachi like feel to it. It's quite jaw dropping when you think that all this ruckus is done with acoustic guitars and not much more. The band are exceptional musicians and their ability to strum the devil out of their instruments while playing like mad men is truly impressive. I don't know how many sets of strings these guys go through but I'm willing to be it's more than a few.

They might label themselves as strum and bass but Roots, Shoots, and Leaves sounds like a cross between The Coral and the Arctic Monkeys on a bit of a trip. I'm not really sure how else to describe these guys except to say that it's all slightly psychedelic with reggae, folk, flamenco and indie influences all crashing headlong into each other. I thoroughly enjoyed their approach and their ability to write songs that are emotional and kinetic is just awesome. Throw in their rather impressive cover of Intastella's hit, "The Night," and you have a record that touches on Britpop and coffee house cool all in one sweeping motion. They might only have acoustic guitars and might strum said guitars but this is one group who are seemingly mad fer it!

Roots, Shoots, and Leaves is an impressive effort that kicks the entire acoustic music genre in the butt and turns it upside down. This is what "folk" music should sound like. It's emotional but it has energy. It's thoughtful but has a sense of fun about it. It's music you want to listen to again and for a bunch of guys with acoustic guitars to do something like that is surely a sign of the apocalypse. - The POP! Stereo Review


In a move that has already caused a stir on social media, London’s More Like Trees are set to release their debut album Roots, Shoots & Leaves. I apologize to those with the stereotypical mentality; you won’t find a sensational controversy here quite yet. But I heard TMZ has a picture of Justin Bieber kissing a guy while smoking some grass, why don’t you head on over there.

Roots, Shoots & Leaves is an all-out assault on your senses that leaves you reveling in a plain above common consciousness. As the cover would imply, Josh Whitehouse, Matt Whitehouse and Lachlan Radford use music as their weapon, delivering a powerfully memorable thirteen tracks. They stretch audible peaks to the boundaries of your comfort zone, while keeping everything masterfully in check. Most importantly, they grab hold of the recipe that Mumford & Sons took to the world stage, grab it by the neck with one hand and douse it in whisky with the other proving there is much more to the style those other English guys keep slinging at us.

More Like Trees’ folk, by way of island/Flamenco, wear a shroud most will find comfort in, reminiscent of deep track Sublime mixed with feisty old world folk and a dash of rock, but propel themselves forward with complete, unadulterated originality. Or basically, the most awesome shit I could have possibly stumbled upon.

Whether it be the calling chants of album opener “Trees” or the dark strings and spinning distaste in “Chilly Water” or the hummed harmony “Cake Featuring The One Taste Choir,” Roots, Shoots & Leaves is evocative, provocative and one hell of a good time.

Though it should most definitely be recognized that this is not some angry trio raised in ties and loafers forced to practice the old style instrumentals (the strings and classical guitars cannot be missed), no these three catapult forth with a new style of “Strum & Bass.”

If you judge this book by its cover, you will miss something spectacular. Behind the shadow of aggression there is an elegance that is simply stunning. Their 21st century lifestyle draws on an almost classical hymn influence and explodes in an array of colors. Their progressive mentality is a saving grace; their nod to the classic is respectable; and their thirteen tracks are not to be missed. - Nanobot


Natalie Shooter introduces a London-based acoustic strum n’ bass band who throw everything into the mix.

What’s this new ‘strum and bass’ name everyone’s throwing around?

Keep up! The genre was coined for danceable acoustic music, exactly what MLT do. We’re not exactly talking glow stick-in-the-air, rave-worthy dance music, but they will do things with their instruments that will likely get you sweaty on the dancefloor.

Sounds intense. So are their gigs full of drum & bass kids or bearded folkers?

You might say they’re covering all bases audience wise. The London-based boys basically fuse together every genre they’ve ever heard – classical, drum ‘n’ bass, hip hop, folk… they’ve even sneaked a bit of flamenco in there.

It all sounds a bit confusing.

You might struggle to find the right section in the record shops but actually their melting pot of sounds fuse together pretty smoothly. Think of them as a band with many masks; one minute Jamie T, the next Tunng, and then the disco strings kick in.

Hmm… disco you say? Are we talking Donna Summer or ABBA?

Think the occasional string sweeps of Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra on a budget.

How come I’m only hearing about them now?

Since forming in 2011 they’ve already recorded one live acoustic drum ‘n’ bass album backing female MC, Tali, but it was only after meeting US rapper Joe Driscoll they started lugging their instruments around the festival circuit. Since then they’ve had a string of collaborations with bands and worked with numerous beatboxers including Dharni, Bass6 and Reeps. Now signed to BBE Records you’re likely to be hearing more.

Wow. I never thought I’d find a band who’d bring all of my conflicting musical cravings together in one.

Precisely. Now that you’re into the idea you can check out their first music video ‘Keep on Going’ on YouTube. If you’re still not convinced an acoustic drum & bass beat is possible, lead singer Josh’s dancing silhouette at sunset should be enough to persuade you otherwise.

More Like Trees debut EP ‘Full Circle’ is out now on BBE Records, www.bbemusic.com
Facebook page: More Like Trees Official - Time Out Beirut


Discography

Aug 2011
Tali featuring More Like Trees - Dark Days High Nights Acoustic
Audioporn

Nov 2012
Full Circle EP
Tracks:
The Night
All Red (featuring Reeps One)
Keep on Going
Lady Lay

Released by BBE Music, produced by John Hendicott

May 2013
Roots Shoots & Leaves
Tracks:
Trees
Chilly Water
The Night
Wickless Frickness
Lady Lay
For Sure (ft Reeps One)
Modern Urban Day Hippie (Klumzy Tung ft Fjokra)
Pieces (ft Reeps One)
Rubin (Pepper remix)
Cake (ft The One Taste Choir)
All Red (ft Reeps One)
Down to the River (ft The One Taste Choir)
Once

Released by BBE Music, produced by John Hendicott

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Bio

Officially born on 10th March 2011 when their east London debut gig effortlessly sold out, London- based acoustic 3-piece More Like Trees have been creating a buzz on the London music scene and beyond with their exciting new genre, dubbed “Strum & Bass”.

Seamlessly combining elements of flamenco, drum & bass, classical, hip hop, indie, dance and folk, MLT make their own musical rules to create a fresh new sound that has been capturing the ears and imaginations of many already established and acclaimed musicians, including world no. 1 female drum & bass MC, Tali with whom they recorded an acoustic reworking of her current Drum & Bass/Dupstep album, Dark Days, High Nights.

MLT have been welcomed into collaborations with The Local Posse, a collective of like-minded musicians from varied backgrounds, led by US loop-pedaller Joe Driscoll, and they are now regulars at The Local Posse sessions. Through this they met John Hendicott, the producer behind their debut EP, Full Circle and album, Roots, Shoots & Leaves. It also led to them working with the world’s number 1 beat boxer, Reeps One who makes an appearance on the new album.

Look out, too, for singer and guitarist Josh Whitehouse’s acting debut with his lead role in Elaine Constantine’s forthcoming movie, Northern Soul.