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A Great Big Pile Of Leaves You're Always On My Mind (2013)

 A Great Big Pile Of Leaves • You're Always On My Mind (2013)

A Great Big Pile Of Leaves You're Always On My Mind
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Genre: Indie Rock, Math Rock
Album release: July 2nd, 2013
Record Label: Topshelf Records
Duration:     32:46
Tracks:
01. Snack Attack     (3:20)
02. Flying Fish     (3:33)
03. Pet Mouse     (2:44)
04. Slumber Party     (2:57)
05. Back To School     (3:34)
06. Egocentrism     (1:57)
07. Ambiversion     (3:38)
08. Fun In The Sun     (3:06)
09. Locus Of Control     (4:37)
10. Pizzanomics     (3:20)
Members:
Pete Weiland
Tyler Soucy
Tucker Yaro
Matt Fazzi
CREDITS:
≡ Ed Ackerson  Mixing, Producer
Matthew Fazzi  Group Member 
Tucker Jaro  Group Member
Justin Pierre  Vocals
Roger Serbel  Mastering
Tyler Soucy  Group Member
Jamie Tallenco  Artwork
Peter Weilard  Group Member
Website: http://www.agreatbigpileofleaves.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/agreatbigpileofle...
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/agbpol
Press contact: Sue Marcus - sue@stuntcompany.com
Agent: David Galea - davidgalea@theagencygroup.com
General director: Jesse Johnson - jessemack@gmail.com / Chase Igliori - chase.igliori@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/agreatbigpileofleaves
REVIEW
June 24th, 2013  Brian Lion
Score: 10/10
Topshelf Records are having a huge year. With stellar releases from bands like Have Mercy, The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, and Diamond Youth, the label’s reputation has grown tremendously and with each of these efforts being added to their catalogue, they’re quickly becoming the label to beat this year.
Enter Brooklyn’s A Great Big Pile Of Leaves. Over the course of several EPs and 2010′s Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex?, AGBPOL have awed listeners with their unique brand of indie rock consisting of impressive songwriting and antic lyrical content. The foursome are currently poised to release their newest full-length effort, You’re Always On My Mind, and as of right now, AGBPOL have crafted my record to beat for 2013, further solidifying Topshelf Records as my pick for label of the year.
You’re Always On My Mind couldn’t have come at a better time. As I’ve been in a very reflective, nostalgic, and critical state as of late, this album was everything I needed to hear. On the surface, this record may appear to be simple, straight-laced indie rock with obscure and or esoteric lyrics (“Pet Mouse”) reminiscent of works from bands like Minus The Bear or Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s. However, after multiple listens, I broke that surface and found myself submerged in a form of time machine that took me back to my childhood much like Remy’s ratatouille does for Anton Ego. Swimming with friends, school dances, young love, sleepovers, and exploring – tracks like the opener, “Snack Attack,” and midpoint, “Back To School,” portray these themes with ease and dig up fond, and even some not so fond, memories. I can’t help but think about Kevin Arnold and his coming–of–age journey through The Wonder Years. The entirety of You’re Always On My Mind oozes a nostalgic element in its material that I rarely find in music these days.
Every aspect of this album shows progress and evolution from the band’s previous efforts. Having smartly recruited Ed Ackerson after a previously DIY history, the production and mixing is top-notch and accentuates their original style perfectly. Beyond the quality of sound, though, the group’s songwriting skills, sonic instrumentation, and even Pete Weiland’s effortless (in the best way!) vocals have all improved drastically. The sometimes distorted, sometimes clean math rock riffs from Matthew Fazzi, the intricate and dynamic arrangements, and the overall structure of the album are still very much like their previous works but they’re improved upon and more fully focused with an evident confidence. AGBPOL are completely in control of their craft and it shows in every offering on You’re Always On My Mind.
Like Said The Whale’s “Camilo (The Magician)” for example, there’s an almost 90s rock vibe to much of the album, primarily in tracks like “Flying Fish,” “Slumber Party,” and “Fun In The Sun” but the band also shows a more intimate and even beautiful side in “Egocentrism” with shining, mellow guitar work accompanied by an almost dramatic vocal delivery. The song builds bit by bit to a sing-along you can excitedly belt with friends on the way to your next (pizza) party. There’s a lot of versatility throughout YAOMM and it helps make for an always intriguing listening experience. Speaking of pizza, any album that has a track entitled “Pizzanomics” is already of great interest to me. It’s another delicious slice of this amazing pie and as the album’s closer, it wraps things up nicely with its smooth, relaxed instrumentation and carefree lyrics. “You may be on top, until the market goes to shit / while I’m still eating pizza loving every minute / I just love pizza so much / I’m choosing it instead of spending every moment trying to get ahead.”
As opposed to just something that we as listeners would want to hear, AGBPOL have given us an album that we needed to. In the current, seemingly endless, state of turmoil and fear that most of the world appears to be in, this album is an escape. Forming an ideal synthesis with the aforementioned lyrical style and arresting musical prowess, it’s fun and untroubled, and it takes us to places we long to return. You don’t have to over-think it if you don’t want to and that’s something that’s become increasingly rare these days. This isn’t to say that there isn’t meaning in this record, because it means a lot to me, but like with most things, it all comes down to preference and interpretation. While I can’t necessarily relate to Weiland’s “mix of personal experiences with psychological theories” that he has infused into the themes of this album, my own experiences and wonders have found 10 incredible tracks here to comfortably connect with.
You’re Always On My Mind is everything that the band’s moniker itself would suggest. As a child, excitedly jumping into and being engulfed by a massive mound of crunchy leaves was a brief moment of pure euphoria. I’ve thought, “If only there were a pile large enough for us all to jump into and leave the world behind…” As far as albums go this year, You’re Always On My Mind is that perfect pile of leaves.
SCORE: 10/10 — FLAWLESS VICTORY!
Fortaken: http://www.underthegunreview.net/
In french:
De l'indie pop rock enjouée et mélodique, parfaitement adaptée pour l'insouciance de la période estivale, c'est le second album de ce groupe de Boston. A découvrir.
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REVIEW
By Merlin Jobst, 25 June 2013
Score: 8/10
Brace yourself — we’re delving into the seriously independent side alternative music in the US. A Great Big Pile of Leaves are a band on Boston’s hyper-independent Topshelf Records, belonging to a scene wherein every act with any traction has a following so devoted, so endlessly turned on by them, that they get tattoos of their lyrics, collect all the beautiful limited edition LPs, know every last word to every last song and belt those words along at their shows en masse.
Actually though, even within that scene, we’re talking about something very special, and everybody who’s uncovered the secret knows it; A Great Big Pile of Leaves are a unique band. Topshelf, a pretty unique label themselves with a very solid following, are largely flush with some pretty superb emo bands — and believe it or not, A Great Big Pile of Leaves isn’t actually even nearly the longest name on their roster. Despite being nestled in a scene full of bands nodding in varying degrees to Cap’n Jazz, though, A Great Big Pile of Leaves are a very, very different act. Think of your favourite childhood poems, your all-time favourite comfort foods, dozing off in afternoon sunlight, the greatest party you’ve ever been to, and belly-laughing with someone you’re head–over–heels in love with; that’s the very soul of the band, and intrinsically of their second album, You’re Always on My Mind.
How apt a name for an album that is, on one level, built of such pure pop that its melodies continue to ring around your head relentlessly from its start to its finish — and likely well into the next day — and on another is so impressive in both its musical components and production that you really can’t help but keep coming back to it in slight disbelief. These are the two key aspects of A Great Big Pile of Leaves that make up their unique selling point, though — the combination of fun music and technically–brilliant music — and it’s true from the first cooed seconds of the delightful opening track ‘Snack Attack’, with its perfect, crisp instrumentation and hugely satisfying hooks. You’re Always on My Mind isn’t another regurgitation of the old reliable chord sequences of the pop world, but a humble collection of songs that have been been crafted with love and care, and with the enjoyment of both the writers and listeners in mind. Every track is indicative of the scope of the band’s ability. ‘Ambiversion’, for example, which fluctuates between marvelously grand unison melody and superbly catchy riffs beneath the chorus, is a superb contrast to ‘Fun in the Sun’, with its delightful introducing lyric “Been keeping cool by thinking about swimming pools” and building blocks of catchy drums, intricate guitars and a vibrant dose of vocal camaraderie. There’s next to no wasted space on the record, either — if there’s a tune, a drum fill, a sprinkling of lead guitar or a snatch of vocal harmonies to be fitted into the mix, it’s fitted perfectly; as a tailored suit to its wearer. A feeling of community is intrinsic to the band’s appeal — tales of their live shows being stuff of legend in certain circles. ‘Pet Mouse’, a song essentially about becoming friendly with the mouse that inhabits a new apartment (how can you not smile?), is fast–paced, comparatively heavy and full of the euphoric, comradely high that their debut LP (Have You Seen my Prefrontal Cortex?) climaxed at with ‘A Few Screws Loose’. As it has always been, the ‘Great Big’ in the band’s name has been justified once again on this album by the great big sing-along melodies they write so incredibly well.
To say that fun is ‘what this band are about’, though, is to sell them as something they aren’t (as well as a fairly nauseating sentence). No, it’s more like they’re about the celebration of simple personal enjoyment over wallowing in personal bad feelings; about utilising a love for music and cherry–picking the best things in life to make art that makes you feel great. It’s also wonderfully, intrinsically unpretentious — it’s been so since their first small releases, through their debut LP and up to now — in a time in which so much alternative music is bloated with pretentiousness. Heck, the closing track, ‘Pizzanomics’ features a chorus wherein many voices sing “I just love pizza so much” — we can get on board with that.
On paper, you’d think this was all rather irritating, but no; it feels as though it’s understood that what the band are doing with You’re Always on My Mind is not putting on an annoyingly optimistic face that makes you roll your eyes but warmly reminding you that there are things in life to be happy about — even if life does have the capacity to be pretty crappy sometimes – and achieving it in a way very few bands have managed. It’s somewhat beyond comprehension that their unique remedy to feeling down in the dumps hasn’t broken in the UK yet, but believe us when we say that this is an album, and a band, that deserves your full attention.
Fortaken: http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/
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Also:
By Caleb Caldwell on June 30, 2013 (Score: )
Link: http://www.slantmagazine.com/
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Discography:
EPs:
The Fiery Works (2007)
The Fiery Works II (2008)
Boom! (2011)
Live from the Living Room (2011)
Making Moves (2012)
Albums:
Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex? (2010)
You're Always On My Mind (2013)
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A Great Big Pile Of Leaves — You're Always On My Mind 

 

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