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THE WEED TREE

Espers

Prog Folk


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Espers The Weed Tree album cover
3.11 | 10 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1- "Rosemary Lane" (Traditional) (influenced by Bert Jansch)
2- "Tomorrow" (originally by The Durutti Column)
3- "Black Is the Color" (Traditional) (influenced by The Famous Jug Band)
4- "Afraid" (originally by Nico)
5- "Blue Mountain" (originally by Michael Hurley)
6- "Flaming Telepaths" (originally by Blue ÷yster Cult)
7- "Dead King"


Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

To be communicated

Releases information

Locust/Wichita

an album of covers

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
Edit this entry

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Buy ESPERS The Weed Tree Music


EspersEspers
Locust 2004
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IIII
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Weed TreeWeed Tree
Locust 2005
Audio CD$67.44 (used)
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ESPERS The Weed Tree ratings distribution


3.11
(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
60%
Good, but non-essential (40%)
40%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

ESPERS The Weed Tree reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars This cover album came out halfway between Esper's two albums, partly to soothe the fans' impatience. Already by this time Espers had grown to the sextet that will record the superb II album, and although a cover album, it is fairly representative of the group's sound. The album came with a fluo orange colour and a fluo yellow inside cover, sporting a simplified paisley artwork.

Starting out on the trad folk Rosemary Lane, and a bit later Black Is The Colour, the album starts out smoothly in a mellow tone. Weirder is the Nico cover of Afraid, version that lost all of the usual macabre ambiance of the German singer. One of the more engaged (energy-wise) tracks on this album is Blue Mountain, which is the closest they come to their original albums. Another surprising treatment is Blue Oyster Cult's Flaming Telepaths, and the least we can say that Espers dared to strip this rock piece to its bare bones. Quite a change, even if the progheads had wished for a not-so-wise rendition in the song proper, it does get there but only during the lengthy song finale of the track where electric guitars make an appearance. Very cool track, indeed and making honour to BOC. The only original Espers track is Dead King (which will have an answer on the next album with Dead Queen), and it gives a good foretaste of their next album. Not quite essential as their two studio albums, The Weed Tree is still quite a treat in its own genre, but clearly the second half of the album is really worth it.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#134462) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars There are only two observations I would make about this Espers EP that might be taken as anything but complete praise. First, these are cover tunes, not original ones (except for “Dead King”, and be aware that this one is generally not available from sites where the EP can be purchased as a download). And second, the release timing between the band’s first and second studio releases makes this seem like a bit of an opportunistic venture to leverage interest in the band’s stellar debut to pull a few more dollars out of fan’s pockets. And to bolster that perception, the price of this EP in most places I’ve seen it is usually as much (or even more) than a full-length album. You can find it reasonably-priced but be prepared to look a bit.

Beyond those two minor nuisances, this is a great piece of music. The opening treatment of Bert Jansch’s “Rosemary Lane” sets the tone for this being a nostalgic and charming highlights tour by Meg Baird and Greg Weeks to show off some of their musical influences. This is followed by Tomorrow from Durutti Column, which is a song I’d never heard in its original format but am left feeling like I’ve revisited an old musical friend after hearing Espers’ version of it anyway.

Meg Baird comes off nearly as young yet world-wise as Jill Johnson did on the Famous Jug Band’s original version of “Black is the Color”, and the achingly mournful violin/cello/whatever it is Baird is bowing is intoxicating.

Nico’s “Afraid” is another song I don’t have much knowledge of, but Baird’s version here has a timeless feel to it that reminds me of lavender potpourri bowls at Grandma’s house and dew-glistened grass on a lazy spring Saturday. All those comfort memories that hit you every once and a while when you slow down long enough to let them.

The band’s rendition of Michael Hurley’s “Blue Mountain” showcases a bit more of Weeks’ digital experimentation than most of the other tracks here, as well as he and Baird’s fits-like-a-glove harmonizing vocals. This is more like what the band’s debut sounded like before they expanded to a sextet and added more emphasis on the acoustic and percussion side of their sound. I have mixed feelings on which sound is better, but that’s kind of like trying to decide which of two sweet candies is the sweeter. You can’t lose either way.

The most surprising cover here is Blue ÷yster Cult’s “Flaming Telepaths”. On the one hand this one makes a little bit of sense since if you were going to cover a B÷C tune on a folk album this would be one of the less-metal ones that you could probably pull that off with. But whatever possessed Weeks (and I gotta’ believe this was his idea) that this was something Espers needed to do is beyond me. The psychedelic cacophony Weeks launches toward the end is a bit of a departure for Espers but not for him, so maybe he just wanted to put his own signature sound on the album to muss up Baird’s calico folkiness a bit. Whichever, this is an interesting and bold attempt and although I personally thought it drug on a bit longer than necessary I also applaud their bold effort.

Finally the closing “Dead King” is an original track but this is an abbreviated version. The full-length one would show up on the band’s next studio release, but this is a nice preview and a decent way to close the EP.

If you know of Espers and are a fan then I would say this is probably essential; otherwise I would recommend it if you are looking to discover the band but only if you can purchase it as a download or find a reasonably-priced copy. If you can only locate one of those $25USD range copies, buy either of their full-length studio albums instead. Three stars.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#163998) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 15, 2008

Latest members reviews

3 stars Great EP of mostly cover songs recorded after Espers' first album. Though all of the songs with the exception of Dead King are covers, the group manages to consistently showcase their original sound. The first half of this long EP are fairly standard folk songs. However all of them are well chosen ... (read more)

Report this review (#150096) | Posted by Speesh | Sunday, November 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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