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June 1, 2004

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Jade Tree has grown a great deal in the past few years. No longer merely the label that has the Promise Ring and a bunch of other lesser bands, this little Delaware-based label has changed in many ways, and you simply say they're much of an 'emo' label any more. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that they've shed the 'Jade Tree sound' curse that could easily have damned it to failure--a common problem with many labels. This is quite obvious when you listen to their latest State of the Union sampler, Location Is Everything, Volume 2.

What you'll find upon listening is a label that has expanded its roster to include hardcore (Strike Anywhere, Paint It Black), metal (These Arms are Snakes, From Ashes Rise), atmospheric rock (Ester Drang, Denali), poppy-rock (Jets to Brazil, Statistics), intelligent singer-songwriter rock (Pedro the Lion, Onelinedrawing) and bands that really defy classification (Joan of Arc, Cex). Of the twenty-one songs here, fifteen are from their most current releases. The other six songs are unreleased cuts by From Ashes Rise, Cex, Pedro the Lion, Statistics, Paint it Black and Onelinedrawing. Though these songs are interesting--especially the Onelinedrawing cover of Pedro the Lion's "Rapture"--the real prize of Location is Everything, Volume Two is the sheer quality of the music you'll find.

Jade Tree has turned into a very trustworthy label that's also quite diverse. Where else could you find a roster that goes from screamo metal to quiet, pensive Christian folk-rock? While Location Is Everything, Volume 2 might not be essential to longtime fans, but it's a fitting introduction for those of you who might not know what the label's about. Here's to the future, guys!

Mundane Sounds

Joseph Kyle