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Oh mermen of the lea
Curling the black winds

through the trees

-- And Also The Trees
And Also The Trees
(AATT)

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Artist Listing: A - F G - R S - Z
Line-up:
Steven Burrows (Bass) 1983-present
Graham Havas (Bass) 1979-1983
Nick Havas (Drums) 1979-1997
Paul Hill (Drums) 1997-present
Ian Jenkins (Double Bass) 2004-present
Justin Jones (Guitar) 1979-present
Simon Huw Jones (Vocals) 1979-present



"Except for a few mega-bands, AATT is one of the last surviving bands from the post-punk wave. Up to now they've celebrated their songs in a dark, conjuring, romantic way that the new-existentialists and The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen and Joy Division's old fans have been painfully missing on the current music scene. Tunes that make reality disappear and let you sink down in daydreaming and melancholy. Those who can sit alone with the sole company of their shadow, and still feel joy and hope and be content, will find an everlasting friend in AATT. A mournful, distressed and depressing feeling trades places with luminous, enthusiastic pieces. The distinct beauty, carried on by Justin Jones' voluminous guitar-swarms in minor, as from an overdimensioned balalajka, is sometimes calm, floating like a feather in the wind, and sometimes explosive. To this, Nick Havas (drums) and Steven Burrows (bass guitar) roll down springy carpets of rhythm that give it all a lightness that's unusual for this kind of music. In the center we find Simon Jones, whose voice and intensity can hardly be beaten. A singer who, in the studio as well as on stage, gives everything, lives out his visions and during his par-force tours gives a whole new meaning to the words.
AATT had their musical debut in 1979.(...) Up to 1980 they played perhaps two gigs, before they found themselves playing as opening act for The Cure. Robert Smith had elected the Trees to his favorite band, after listening to a demo-tape. A friendship started up between the two bands, but like any other friendships, it had its highs and lows. The first high: Lawrence Tolhurst, keyboard player in The Cure, produced the first two 7", as well as the Trees' debut album. The first and most lingering low: from now on, everyone compared the Trees to The Cure and called them copycats, without considering that it had been the Trees that had introduced The Cure to sad and melancholic tunes."
-- Volkard Steinbach, Zillo, 7/8 1991, translated from German by: E. Weintraub, T. Praun, H. Csarmann

 And Also The Trees Discography - Album / CD Reviews


1984: And Also The Trees

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***¼ 1986: Virus Meadow
"... the Trees developed an even more arty approach than before, establishing what would become their basic sound for a number of years to come. Stripping down the instrumentation on most of the songs to a dark rhythm drive from Burrows and Havas, Justin Jones here concentrates on a series of electric guitar parts which combine the liquid touches of flange effects and folky runs on the frets, avoiding crunch in favor of delicacy, to create marvelously evocative musical shadings, rich in atmosphere. Along with Simon Jones' sometimes extravagant lyrical images of an older, more rustic and mystic time, with hints of Wordsworth's early Romantic poetry throughout, it gives Meadow a unique flavor for Eighties British rock."
-- Ned Raggett, allmusic.com

1987: The Evening of the 24th
A live LP recorded on Oct. 24, in Luzanne, Switzerland, including tracks from their 1984 to 1986 recordings.

****¼ 1988: The Millpond Years
"The Millpond Years holds probably some of the most peculiar dark wave tracks of the 80s, some of which still stand as masterpieces in the genre to that day: The Suffering of the Stream, Shaletown, The House of the Heart. While the previous work of And Also the Trees was constantly compared to The Cure and Joy Division by petty reviewers, The Millpond Years asserted AATT as one of the most distinctive bands of the era. For a treat of somber evocative imagery and sensuous melancholic melodies, grab this album, dim the lights and float in amazement to the sound of perfection."
-- Said Sukkarieh, musicfolio.com, 1/03

****¼ 1989: Farewell to the Shade
"The album is one of the most solid and logical works of the British band which has chosen to remain in the shadows; creating dark and lyrical anti-commercial masterpieces. A wonderful choice that has guaranteed the band creative survival and a constant artistic maturity that finds its inspiration in a deep interaction between music and literature, notes and poetry. It's an ideal that reveals a sentimental intensity that can be found in the very song titles, like Macbeth's Head, Belief in the Rose and The Horse Fair. There's also a reference to Cat Stevens, Lady d'Arbanville, completely revised here, which surely doesn't go unnoticed. AATT's world of sounds is one of a kind; if in the beginning it was trying to connect itself with gothic tendencies, now it has developed a personal ideal with amazing expressive possibilities. To prove that, there are songs of infinite romance, like Misfortunes and Belief in the Rose and episodes that fall somewhere between a recital piece and a solid rock/pop song, like The Street Organ and Macbeth's Head, which show how to transcend the false limits of art and how to create new levels of fantasy and emotions."
-- By E.S.C., From Ciao 2001 (Jan89)

*** 1992: Green is the Sea
"it is a new phase, a new musical change for the band. New characters embark on ghost ships, across dangerous seas and drifting by new mirages of love and truth; Red Valentino, Jacob Fleet, a ghost sailor, errant beings in the dark night comforted only by the moon's watchful eye (and its promises for misfortunes) and the shimmering stars above. Within the album is placed a big piano; its chords are the basis for every song, resounding like the old Street Organ in deserted streets, in the absolute loneliness of sandy deserts..."
-- wings of desire, geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Venue/3825/aatt.html

**** 1993: From Horizon to Horizon
Compilation of all singles a-sides and some b-sides.

**** 1993: The Klaxon
"The Klaxon was a turning point in the AATT development. Earlier lush orchestrations and romantic soundscapes is on The Klaxon changed in favour of a more tense and urban expression. One could say they'd moved from the manor to rain wet city streets at night. Occasionally a mellow horn turns up underlining a ghost-like Ennio Morricone guitar backdrop. The Klaxon could in fact have been a score for an imagined film noir by Sergio Leone. The Klaxon is the sound of a band going new directions but on the same time constitutes a mature wholeness making it one of the best rock albums in 1993. The band itself described the style here as "industral white man's blues". The songs Sickness Divine, The Soul Driver, Sunrise and The Flatlands stand out on the album, Dialogue is the pop song and The Dutchman the only weak track."
-- reviewer from Denmark, via amazon.co.uk

***¾ 1996: Angelfish
"It's surely no easy task to record a follow up album to the outstanding Klaxon. But once again AATT lived up to all expectations and delivered yet another remarkable piece of work. With poetic lyrics, subtle musical arrangement and melancholic vocals, AATT are still delivering what I consider to be the most sophisticated and refined sound with a silky obscure feel, in the dark music scene. While Angelfish could be considered as a logical progression to The Klaxon, AATT seem to be continuously looking to redefine their music by successfully treading on new grounds once again. Some Jazzy and Bluesy atmospheres have been layered to their mythical guitars trademark on songs like Fighting In The Light House, Paradiso and the ominous film 'noirish' tune 6th Floor Elevator Blues. Adding to that more AATT classics like Brother Fear, Termaine and the haunting Roulette, Angelfish does not come short of being another brave and solid effort from this astounding quartet."
-- Sami Alajaji, for musicfolio.com, 1/03

***¾ 1998: Silver Soul
"Turning the page once again on their past, AATT embarks you into a completely different and wonderful journey with 'Silver Soul'. From the hit tracks Nailed and Blue Runner to the folky Cyclone, Nick Cave'ish Rose Marie's Leaving, hypnotic Highway 4287 and the psychotic Get Critical which is narrated with a sarcastically distorted voice, The Trees never stop astonishing their listeners with a very diverse and colourful album where the Jones brothers display every facet of their purely unmatched talent and classy touch. Despite this diversity, AATT manage to bind all these tracks under a unique velvety atmosphere making an overall homogeneous and articulate album. During this fascinating realm of sounds we are all halted at a striking story that has surely carved its way into every AATT's fan mind ... The Obvious is a melting pot with perfect cohesiveness between quivering text and grungy guitar riffs backed with a heart throbbing beat. It's an obscure painted tale that walks you through the tattooed streets and into the dark tunnels of an ambiguous underworld. The addition of 'Silver Soul' to their marvellous non-faltering album collection, affirms with conviction that AATT's well of art, ideas and resources is of endless depth."
-- Sami Alajaji, for musicfolio.com, 1/03

**** 2003: Further From the Truth
TrackListing: 01.21 York Street 02.He walked through the dew 03.The man who ran away 04.In my house 05.Genevieve 06.Pale Sun 07.The Reply 08.In my house ll 09.The willow 10.Feeling fine 11.The untangled man
"I have been an AATT fan since almost their inception and I have to admit that I had a tough time listening and understanding this new album after the first couple of spins. This record is not for amateurs and it would not be an appropriate pick if you’re not familiar with The Trees. It's difficulty lies in its stripped down approach and it's subtleness. The most obvious winners are the first and last tracks, while most other tracks are just naked organic songs that feed upon basic instrumentation. Most of the album is based on tinkling guitars backed with rhythmic base notes and creepy drumming with edgy and vulnerable vocals. The lyrics on the other hand are as delightful and enticing as always: descriptive, poetic, romantic and at times very nostalgic. This album requires some engaged listening but at the end of it The Trees will stun those who can read between the lines or hear between the notes. It will keep growing on you with every spin and after a short while you’ll realize that 'Further From The Truth' is nothing short of a precious jewel made of a certain subtleness and delicacy that only The Trees are capable of. "
-- Sami Alajaji, musicfolio.com, 11/03

2005: AATT - 1980-2005
TrackListing: 01. Talk Without Words 02. Scarlet Arch 03. Macbeth's Head 04. Red Valentino 05. A Room Lives In Lucy 06. Paradiso 07. Feeling Fine 08. Nailed 09. Dialogue 10. Gone....Like The Swallows 11. Missing 12. Virus Meadow 13. Jonny Lexington 14. Shaletown 15. Mermen Of The Lea 16. Prince Rupert 17. Slow Pulse Boy 18. In My House
"Spanning their entire career ( from their inception in 1980 up to the present day ), this excellent Best Of Compilation from And Also The Trees serves as an essential companion until the release of their next long-player. Covering the bands 25 year history (their early days touring with The Cure and tracks from their debut album produced by Laurence Tolhurst ) "1980 - 2005" includes hits and singles alongside fan-favourites and classic songs."
-- musicnonstop.co.uk

***½ 2007: (listen for) The Rag and Bone Man
TrackListing: 01. Domed 02. The Beautiful Silence 03. Rive Droite 04. Mary Of The Woods 05. The Way The Land Lies 06. The Legend Of Mucklow 07. Untitled 08. Candace 09. Stay Away From The Accordion Girl 10. The Saracen's Head 11. On This Day 12. Man With A Drum 13. Under The Stars

Musicfolio picks: Domed, Rive Droite, Under the Stars
"'(Listen for) The Rag And Bone Man' takes us on a dreamlike journey through dark landscapes populated by stray nursery rhyme characters, mysterious woman who peer into the psyche and pools of light that appear like reflections of their pastoral upbringing... And Also The Trees - (Listen For) The Rag And Bone ManIt was recorded on the estate of an 11th century manor house in rural Herefordshire and finished in a Victorian chapel in the East End of London - settings that exemplify the vividly spectral quality of this album. A policy of using 'real' instruments, including a double bass (by new member Ian Jenkins), zither and piano has resulted in a rich, organic sound, coloured further by a guitar that brings to mind the trademark sound of And Also The Trees' formative years."
______

Recommended Links:

And Also The Trees' official site
Switchblade Paradise: And Also The Trees' site
And Also The Trees: Further from the Truth
Similar/Related Artists:

The Cure | Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds | Joy Division | The Sisters of Mercy | Siouxsie and the Banshees | Echo & The Bunnymen | Low Life | Rome

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