By Rebecca Bulnes
By S. Pajot
By S. Pajot, Liz Tracy, Kat Bein, & Sean Levisman
By Kat Bein
By Ashley Rogers
By Jose D. Duran
By David Rolland
Humbert's follow-up to its 1999 self-titled disc is a pop gem. Mature and sensitive, the eleven tracks of Plant the Trees Closer Together qualify as some of the sweetest euphonic cuts to circulate South Florida. Elements of lounge, early alternative, and postpunk are treated through sprinkles of Fifties rock and roll and Beatles/Beach Boys-era power pop. The band's musicianship is classic, exhibiting exemplary training and execution. The unfaltering precision of the rhythm section, bassist Tony Landa and drummer Cesar Lavin, grounds the double guitar assault of Ferny Coipel and Rimsky Pons. Their multilayered harmonies and controlled use of piano make for celestial environments.
"Stolen Car," "Taste the Water," and "Warped Tape" provide the intermittent crescendos of raw punk energy, while numbers like "Hugo (the Elephant)" and "Lyn" bring the listener to that spot of enjoyment audiophiles frequently refer to as nirvana. Ex-member Izo Besares cameos behind the skins on the disc's lone instrumental track, "Vuscalli (the Porcupine)," which is reminiscent of the band's earlier life as the polka-punk outfit I Don't Know. The second composition in an ethereal triptych of geographically diverse fauna (the third being "I Get the Bellyhurts [Horseshoe Crab]"), "Vuscalli..." is a circus big top that houses Russian classical, Middle Eastern/Greek, and klezmer music. This track is energetic, Prokofiev on amphetamines. "You're the One" and "Get Well Card" showcase the band's romantic side. Plant the Trees Closer Togetherwas conceived and recorded in the city of progress, Hialeah.