By: Eric Greenwood
Boston's Appomattox has been slowly cultivating its unique brand of noisy indie rock since splintering away from guitarist Cliff Rawson and its lavish and dynamic former incarnation, Araby, just over two years ago. With a pummeling schedule of Northeastern shows, the band has taken its time producing its first self-titled, self-released EP.
The resulting six songs reveal an ambitious and explosive interplay between melody and calculated noise. Nick Gaynier's voice immediately sets the band apart; his tone is crystalline and distinctive with a range much higher than his peers. The musical foundation for the power trio is clearly pop, but the jolts of guitar and stuttering percussion uncover an ear for experimental no-wave, post-punk, and even classic rock.
Musically, Appomattox veers towards the darker end of the pop spectrum, as Gaynier's voice soars over the urgent and frenzied stops and starts while retaining a sense of inherent melody and infectiousness. "Either Way" has hit song written all over it. The guitars charge out of the gate as the drums rush past twice as fast. Then, abruptly, the guitar slows to a very Blonde Redhead-ish note stabbing, allowing Gaynier to shout out the verse. It all comes together in a chorus that you will not be able to get out of your head for days.
The evolution from Araby is immediately obvious. The focus is no longer on sprawling melodies or strained harmonies. Appomattox trades its former band's drama for energy and muscle, and the gamble more than pays off.