Pico Vs. Island Trees
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Pico Vs. Island Trees


Band Rock Pop


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The best kept secret in music


"Poppy Pico Premier"

Pico vs. Island Trees "Just Wait"
3 1/2 stars

Pico vs. Island Trees -- well worth the wait.Just Wait, the debut album from Pico vs. Island Trees, a new band from Raleigh, delivers an eclectic mix of musical styles, valorizing their claim to "sophisticated pop."By incorporating elements of jazz, bluegrass, rock, pop and even hip-hop, Pico vs. Island Trees creates something incredibly out of the ordinary. The band's sound is similar to that of Dispatch and Ben Folds Five, with the latter's bassist Robert Sledge even making an appearance on the album.While Pico's sound is comparable to that of other artists, they manage to spin it into a unique listening experience, distinguishing themselves from other analogous bands."Getting Over," the first track on the album, is a good indication of the excitement to follow. It begins with a jazzy feel, featuring compelling percussion and guitar. The instrumental aspects play around each other, maintaining their own distinctions while still melding into an intriguing mood.Toward the beginning of the album, the electric guitar dominates, creating an exciting, peppy feeling, complete with hand-clapping in "Saying the Opposite."The energy builds to a climax, in the more rough and angry, "Six Up."With the seventh track, "More Than You Could Know," the tone becomes more placid, with more acoustic guitar, and the riffs become more intricate and melodious. In turn, the lyrics reach a deeper and more poetic level, using unexpected chord changes to build to a beautiful chorus.This feeling continues across the remainder of the album, conveying a rich atmosphere, and concluding with "Cool Runnings," a simple, yet strong acoustic track.The best part of Pico vs. Island Trees is this eclecticism of the music. With frequent changes in the mood, the sound never becomes monotonous or boring. The band understands how to keep up with the ever-changing desires of the listener. But the album is not perfect. It contains some weaker filler songs, such as "Broken," which is almost too mellow, neither well thought-out nor polished. And the lyrics, in general, aren't spectacular. While they don't really add much to the music, they don't distract -- the listener is too caught up in the instrumental elements.Pico vs. Island Trees has created a strong, promising first album. While the sound could be deeper and more climactic, the group has left itself enough room to develop the easy-going, laid-back vibes into something truly gripping.

By Leah Konen (Taken from: http://www.dailytarheel.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/01/29/4019167dd8f54?in_archive=1) - Daily Tarheel

"Pico vs Island Trees is a trio of scary talented 19-year-olds"

Pico vs Island Trees is a trio of scary talented 19-year-olds en route to college, who have taken a detour into recording smart, pop-inflected songs. Lead vocalist Bryan Carter sounds faintly like a John Mayer with balls and much better song writing skills. The songs have a hint of Counting Crows and Ben Folds Five, but, alas, arrive at quite a unique popular vision.The music is mostly acoustically based with electric overtones and a bit of an island feel. Chris Karlsson’s guitar adds shimmering electricity to the natural acoustics of the recording. This is a very hopeful freshman effort that leads one to believe that these three young men will grow into the hook-generating songwriters they are destined to be. This ability is amply illustrated on “Six Up” and “More Than You Could No.” This is music full of innocence and youthful enthusiasm, which makes it irresistable.The band’s name is cheekily taken from a First Amendment court case of the same title. Now, that is the way to name a band.For more information, please see Deep South Entertainment and Picomusic.~ C. Michael Bailey - All About Jazz

"Pico Style"

They may be fresh out of high school and hot on the trail to college (Charleston, Wilmington and Chapel Hill, respectively), but Pico vs. Island Trees--the catchy creation of guitarists Chris Karlsson, Jeremy Bullock and drummer/lead singer Bryan Carter--has been causing quite a stir in Raleigh as of late ... and for good reason.
June 25, 2003

Blending breakneck arrangements that skip into sweet, three-part harmony a la the like-minded Dispatch and Guster, with a scholastic devotion to jazz and a love for crisp pop and Dre-style hip hop, Pico has become a veritable club favorite in town, bringing 300 people to the Lincoln Theatre last January and drawing a majority of the crowd at a show headlined by Will Hoge last month. But they're not satisfied.
"Our live show has always sucked for us because we've never been able to play live what we're capable of playing," Bullock says with a smirk. "We want to be fun and professional when we perform, but we're not there yet."
"We get up and play and high school girls cheer for us, and that's great, really," Carter echoes, lounging in the studio as the band enters their fifth month of recording for their debut effort. "But that's not the level we want to be at."
The group hopes their freshman release will help propel them to that ever-evasive next level. The disc--currently in the works at former DAG frontman Bobby Patterson's home studio in Raleigh--has been an interesting quest for the band, as Patterson has generously offered his time and experience in the band's seemingly incessant battles for just the right guitar tone or backbeat. To date, Ben Folds Five bassist Robert Sledge has sat in for "Six Up" ("The coolest thing that has ever happened to me," beams Carter), as well as local session extraordinaire Rob Farris and Backsliders' drummer Jeff Dennis.
The group, as openly ambitious as they are dedicated, sees their separation this fall as more of an opportunity than a problem. They hope to make the Charleston, S.C., scene --famous for its support of melodic roots rock acts over the last decade--and grow out of it eventually, picking up the right gigs on the weekend and making the correct contacts along the way.
"I want to be comfortably rich ... and to tour!" exclaims Carter, as Bullock and Karlsson nod, laugh and--ultimately--agree.
Catch Pico vs. Island Trees (and their improved live show, according to Bullock) at the Lincoln Theatre on July 3. Nova Cancy and Mama Tribe are set to open.
Independent 6/25/2003: http://indyweek.com/durham/2003-06-25/raleighrhythms.html
- The Independent


"Just Wait" 2/10/04 (Deep South Records)


Feeling a bit camera shy


It’s hard to put into words the sound of Pico Vs. Island Trees. With influences ranging from such diverse genres as jazz and bluegrass, to pop and hip-hop, their sound is an original blend of all those musical tastes. Often compared to the like of Ben Folds Five, Guster, Virginia Coalition, and Maroon 5, it’s not easy to put a label on what they call “sophisticated pop.” But while it may be tough to put your finger on exactly what it is, you’ll know what sets their music apart from the rest of what’s on the radio at first listen…

It all began in high school, after performing together for a school talent show, Bryan Carter and Jeremy Bullock decided to form a band. They named the band after watching an educational video on 1st Amendment Rights. In this video, the main character was briefed on a court case involving the banning of books. Upon hearing the name of the case, the main character exclaimed “Pico vs. Island Trees? That sounds like a rock band!” And so it became that. Pico then recruited guitarist Chris Karlsson, and began to focus their efforts.
Over the past few years, Pico has been writing songs and crafting their sound in front of packed audiences, playing venues on the Raleigh, NC scene; as well as demoing tunes at local studios, resulting in getting the attention of some well respected local musicians, and producers, and eventually garnering an independent record deal.

February 10, 2004 marks the release of their full-length debut album, “Just Wait,” on Deep South Records. “Just Wait” has cameos from local musicians with national notoriety, such as Robert Sledge (Ben Folds Five), Jeff Dennis (The Backsliders), The Apple Juice Kid (Sankofa), and Bobby Patterson (DAG), who also produced the disc. Jeff Carroll (Bluefield Mastering) mastered the record, which has everything from jazzy pop tunes (“Brand New Set Of Wings”) to straightforward rockers (“Six Up”) running the gamut of the musical spectrum. Following the release, Pico will support it with a spring college tour and will tour venues on the east coast this summer.

For Pico, the best has yet to come and they are excited about their future. Pico vs. Island Trees is sure to be a name you’ll hear a lot of in the months and years to come…