The beauty of the local music scene, or any good music community for that matter, is that the artists that permeate an area will inevitably lead you to even more fantastic artists. Which brings us to The Appleyards, who recently opened for Carissa Johnson. I was at the show for Carissa Johnson, who was a guest on our first co-hosting gig on the Deathkiss Radio Show on WEMF, and actually missed The Appleyards due to co-hosting duties earlier that night but by chance (And “by chance” I mean Dug McCormack of Psychic Dog, also on the bill that night, and rad as hell. Check out our review of his latest here) I was hooked up with a copy of Phantasmagoria, The Appleyards’ latest.
Which brings us to this review.
Firstly, this album is so consistently fresh and fun combining Rockabilly with psychedelia and an all around sense of noir or just plain old SPOOKY making it instantly stand out from, not only that particular bill, but most of the local rawkers in our fair city.
“The Black Cat” starts with some demented laid back surf rock in the vein of something you’d find on the Return Of The Living Dead soundtrack beside The Cramps and Roky Erickson then “Krull” expands that theme, adding some Rockabilly to the mix as Adam Brown’s glistening vox add an ethereal mood to the jam. And also, it’s named “Krull”.
“Couch Surfer” expands on that even FURTHER with a more straight up rawk fest shedding the spook as Brown goes the high road with his delivery and Matt Allendorf and Dave Pietroforte bring up the rear with a solid rhythmic hum which builds to a splendid sing/scream-a-long chorus.
“Tyrannosaurus Hex” sounds as utterly monolithic as one would expect a song with a name like that to sound but it’s the riffage laid down by Jordan Wolfcastle that lead into “Blood Red Moon” that really steal the show, though, when it comes to heavy riffin’ here. Next, “Strange Alchemy” bristles with fuzzed out, hypnotic ecstasy just before “The Black Cat II” saunters in to lead us off with a blissful instrumental to bookend that opening salvo.
I already regret not being able to catch them when they opened for Carissa Johnson but YOU don’t have to regret not checking them out because Phantasmagoria is available now and can be gotten by clicking here. And for more on the band, including where you can see them next, head here.