Crawl Out of This
REVIEWS OF PAUL LABRISE AND THE TREES CD 'CRAWL OUT OF THIS' ...the disc's front-porch intimacy approximates sitting on old paint-chipped steps, lemonade or Rolling Rock in hand, while the Trees roll easily through a rollicking set of the best post-alt-country you've ever heard. As with the best time-honored popular records by folks like Hank Williams Sr., Elvis Costello, and Lennon, McCartney & co., each song on Crawl is not only really good, but stands as a separate creation, each with it's own individuating hooks, melodies and structures. Some particularly outstanding moments: the end-of-chorus vocal/guitar hook in 'Welcome Mat,' the dissonant chord progression in 'The Way Home,' the 'do-do-do' hook in 'Blue Psyche,' and the vocal harmonies in the chorus of 'Freeway Bulb.' 'End of Messages' is an alternately sinister and bouncy county/rock excursion with beautifully toned, slippery guitar. 'I'd Be Lying' wears a Stetson and rides a horse. Crawl Out of This gives anybody who's had the good fortune to see Paul and the Trees live over the last couple of years the opportunity to approximate that cathartic, feel-good experience whenever there's a CD player around - which is about the best thing one can say about a recording - and it should give everyone who hasn't yet seen them the incentive to do just that. --Pittsburgh City Paper, November 27, 2002 ...Pittsburgh indie-rock veteran, nimble guitarist/vocalist Labrise (pronounced luh-BREEZE-ee) wades through slower, quieter, countrified, more acoustic musical waters, creating melodies and hooks that should have Wilco running scared. --Pittsburgh Magazine August, 2001 Paul Labrise is the kind of guy who doesn't draw a lot of attention to himself. As the keyboardist and occasional guitarist with Boxstep, he stays out of the spotlight, providing a solid chunk of the band's musical support system. On his 2001 solo CD Planet of the Love Guitars, Labrise's strings never got loud, but still grabbed the ears and didn't let go until he was done creating a jangly, psychedelic blend, the likes of which rarely sound cohesive when one person handles all the instruments. But behind that laidback presentation lies a performer who channels his easygoing persona into fascinating music. Labrise's band the Trees was one of last year's best-kept musical secrets on the local scene, since their infrequent gigs were matched only by their understated power. Vince Camut's pedal steel guitar adds an appropriate twang to the songs, tearing off into a country strain in the sincere spirit of Gram Parsons or the Byrds rather than an insurgent bandwagon hopper. ...Crawl Out of This includes 13 examples of Labrise's expert songwriting. --PULP Magazine August 29, 2002.