SAPLING: No Sequoia: CD

This Massachusetts band identifies with the tag noise punk. I’m not exactly sure what that means but it seems to be a combination of a lot of sounds. The twelve-song album starts with an aggressive punk song that mentions Bikini Kill and has the two female vocalists playing off one another quite well. The second track, “Maria vs. Machine Maria,” is what I want to hear more of. It’s a mellow, thoughtful, and cohesive song, much more in the vein of something Low or a slowcore band would do. The following track, “Bitchshifter,” is a funky number with good bass groove and an indie rock sound. It definitely got my toes tapping. As you can see, this album is all over the place. Some of it is good, but much too often Sapling tries to be lyrically funny but isn’t. For example, in the midst of “Everything Was Better” the two female vocalists get in an argument about what role the actor Tim Curry had in Home Alone 2. I wish I was kidding about that but it’s a thing that actually happened and instead of making me laugh I just rolled my eyes. I’d like to see more of the early songs and less of the scattered humor. As it stands, I give this a hearty “meh.” –Kurt Morris (