Through the Trees
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Through the Trees

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Rock Avant-garde


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Through the Trees - Dig It Up (SR)
By Marc Perlman • Aug 31st, 2010 • Category: Featured Story, Sound Reviews •

Through The Trees’ debut, Dig It Up, is a startlingly audacious ten-song career-opening salvo fired right across the bow. After taking stock of their influences and history – Ben McCormack (vocals/guitars/piano/etc) and Will Tanner (bass/percussion) played together in The Stags, McCormack in a variety of bands ranging from jam to garage band, Rob Jasinski drummed for the long departed garage and hip shaking The Good Looks – Dig It Up is even more disarming. Given where the trio came from, the resulting alt rock as played by late 70s classic rock fans isn’t completely surprising, but it seems refreshingly welcome. Pile on the fact that the band was practically born in the stale beer afternoons at the Hole in the Wall – Tanner owns it, McCormack books it, and Jasinski owns Cream Vintage next door – and one might expect an album of shambling, sloppy burners. Instead, Through The Trees wind up generally soaring through some fifty minutes of majestic rock and roll.

Despite owing some pretty hefty debt to both Hole and The Strokes, the opening tracks – “Hearse” and “Vampire” – don’t come across as derivative. In fact, even though the songs sound so immediately familiar, repeated spins don’t appear to explain why or how Through The Trees seem to own that familiarity perfectly. As strong as “Hearse” and “Vampire “are, they are two of the three shortest songs on Dig It Up and the real fun doesn’t begin until the band stretches out. A fifth of the way through “Anchor,” Through The Trees get absolutely filthy. That first fifth sounds like a murky afternoon hangover… and then Jasinski opens up the engines, McCormack starts shredding, and the band never slows down again. There’s absolutely no way to accurately describe McCormack playing guitar hero on “Anchor.” Maybe this is what it sounds like when grownups aren’t chasing trends, fans, and industry contacts and instead just make the music in their heads.

“Anchor” might be the sonic highlight of the album, but it’s not like the subsequent seven songs are duds. In fact, with the exception of “Victim” – the other shorty on the album – Through The Trees don’t really drop a clunker at any point. On “Birds”, “Suburbs” and “Dig” – the final three tracks of the album – the band gets lengthy without getting long. All three songs clock in at over seven minutes, but each song feels like a mini rock opera complete with more than the standard verse-chorus changes. And somehow, maybe because Through The Trees never seem to abandon their surroundings – presumably a small dark Austin bar reverberating with the ghosts of decades past – it never feels indulgent, forced, or completely over the top. Even as “Suburbs” decays into a minutes long coda worthy of The Afghan Whigs, it just sounds like the cigarette smoke and guitars of bands long gone oozing out of the walls and into Through The Trees’ canon.

It’s been a long and winding road for these three guys. From past bands to independent businesses that take more energy and soul than the average nine-to-fiver, Through The Trees have paid their dues. Congratulations – and thanks — are in order for creating a great record as part time musicians hustling between all their other responsibilities. - Austin Sound

This electric power-trio's music and spirit are equally polar, for the lens doesn't lie, nor do our ears. There is Goya's purity and his sharp wit: Herein, our Trees are stripped-back, where Blues-Rock, Grunge and Punk collide; energy and melody in equilibrium.

Trees' lyrics are elegant, truthful and transmitted with power and grace.

original fans respond, new fans are born and the eve is enjoyed by all; we await their next one. Through The Trees are on their way...
- Pirate Studio


DEMO: New Victim, Chains, Hey Suburbs
"DIG IT UP" (full length debut release):
1. Hearse
2. Vampire
3. Anchor
4. Urn
5. Chains
6. Grave
7. Victim
8. Birds
9. Suburbs
10. Dig



Through the Trees have been playing in different bands in Austin since the late 90's. Rob Jasinski was most notably the drummer for the immensly popular Good Looks (the nucleus of which became Lions) while Ben McCormack and Will Tanner were members of the Stags, a mysterious and widely-worshipped cult band from the West Texas desert. Before that McCormack played for years in the successful jam-band Freebridge, the Garage band Sweet Dust, and most recently, the Mockery Birds. Jasinski owns the local Cream Vintage franchise, Tanner owns the Austin legend Hole in the Wall, where McCormack does all the booking. Needless to say, it didn't take long for these three paths to cross. Through the Trees' first practices were held inside the Hole in the Wall, in the early afternoon, before it opened. It started as, and still is, honest, interesting, deep, rock and roll, played with energy and soul. Since then, they locked themselves in the rehearsal space they share with Lions and Frenchie Smith (producer/owner of the Bubble, Young Heart Attack), where they ultimately perfected their blend of metal/progish song structures, polarizing starts and stops, and surprisingly danceable 80's sounding grooves. With vocals and lyrics sometimes sounding like Iggy Pop and othertimes sounding like Lou Reed, this band spits it's philosophy, laments, love letters, hate letters, and art, with confidence and honesty. Jasinski sets up right in the middle (up front) to highlight the relentless and driving beat behind every song, while Tanner and McCormack sling bass and guitar melodies across the stage at will. The band is influenced by everyone from Thin Lizzy to the Fixx and can sound like anything in between at anytime during there audacious set full of frequent, abrupt changes. Their first shows were in support of Grand Champeen, Til Were Blue or Destroy, Rockland Eagles, the Bridge Farmers, the Bread and others. Through the Trees have played at Club Deville, Creekside, Beerland, Red 7, Encore, the Ghost Room, and Hole in the Wall amongst other venues. Currently, they've finished their full length debut with local producer/engineer sensation Marcel Graf (of the Bubble) and are playing local shows @ Club Deville, Mohawk, the Parish, La Zona Rosa and others...