A Great Big Pile of Leaves - Making Moves 7"
Release Date: July 24, 2012
Record Label: MAD Dragon Records
A Great Big Pile of Leaves, to date, has yet to disappoint with a release. The band has under its collective belt a pair of phenomenal EPs (The Fiery Works I and II), and it followed up those releases with an even better full-length, Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex? The group's brand of indie rock can be spastic, ranging from very clean, mellow jammy parts to segments that very much rock your socks off. The group has even kept busy after its LP release, putting out the BOOM! EP and this Making Moves EP.
The Making Moves series is something that Motion City Soundtrack is curating in conjunction with Drexel University's MAD Dragon Records. A few bands have taken part in the series, but A Great Big Pile of Leaves has without a doubt released the most intriguing installment. I wouldn't say the three new songs are a departure from what we heard on HYSMPC?, but the band has hardly remained static. Opening track "Writing Utensils" is noisier than most of the band's past material, exhibiting some Manchester Orchestra-esque qualities in its opening instrumentals. When Pete Weiland's vocals kick in, things return to our comfort zone, with his fluctuating harmonies and his work in leading the occasional gang vocals. All in all, "Writing Utensils" shows a potential new side to the band that we might see it exploring more on its second full-length, which was just recorded.
Closing track "Ambiversion" also showcases a side of the band we haven't seen too much, but in the opposite direction. The acoustic-led track features a signature AGBPOL one-liner, with Weiland casually delivering the line, "I get so extroverted / Only when no one's around." The softer side of A Great Big Pile of Leaves is interestingly just as intriguing as its noisier side. Chalk it up to the band's talent, but they are simply getting more versatile and more comfortable to try new things within their songwriting, which bodes well for the future.
Finally, "Pet Mouse" is the middle track and the most familiar in terms of what we're used to from this band. That's not to knock the song, because even though it didn't explore slightly new territory like the other two tracks, it does have the best melody of the three. A Great Big Pile of Leaves is without a doubt one of the more talented bands in this community, and how far it goes in the future will depend mainly on just how much this style of indie rock can catch among the genre's supporters. The lyrics aren't great, but they offer a novelty value in ways and the band is far catchier than many of its peers. The new full-length is something I'll be keeping a sharp eye out for and I suggest you do the same...but these three songs can help tide you over until it drops early next year.