Appellative is a one-man instrumental project form Australia making remarkable music on his own, and that is not uncommon nowadays. With the simple technology given, one person can make a great impression with the music they create. What’s even better is that this music is completely DIY, and of course, independent. Appellative is yet another project to completely blow me away on first listen, and the EP “Nomenclature” is one of the greatest up-and-coming releases that I’ve heard this year.
Blending post-rock, progressive rock, and even some ambient influences, Appellative strikes with aggressive guitar riffs and fluid layering to build a wall of sound, but also provides the calm before the storm. This can be seen on the opening track, “Preface”. It is a wonderful, slow-building ambient piece that relies on minimal and abstract sounds to gradually crescendo into the next track. Some might be thrown off by the long intros to the songs on this EP, like “I Think I Had a Dream” for instance, but they do a great job at building suspense and wonder for what is about to come next. For most, it should pay off, and it did for me when I heard “You’re Afraid of Balloon Rides, Aren’t You”.
RELEASE DATE: 01 April 2015 LABEL: Self-released
This track was also the first single that Appellative released for the EP, and its instantaneous sonic power is hard not to get lost in. There is a Cloudkicker –esque riff that pummels you immediately; it’s heavy, it’s dominant, it’s fast paced, and it’s beautiful. The guitars, one by one, layer on top of this punishing riff and the intensity by a minute into the track is enormous. This song, as well as most of the others, lies in the realm of progressive rock while it seeps in some post-rock influences with the high strumming guitars and more relaxed melodies. This is the fate of the second half of the song, where it simmers down and relaxes with tranquil guitars to gracefully end the track.
“It’s In Your Hand Right Now” is the only flaw I have with this EP. It isn’t a bad song, but it’s not as good as the others. The opening guitar just doesn’t sit well, and almost feels forced in a way. I’m just picking bones here, but it is the only part that threw me off about the song. However, it is much more post-rock in nature, and it does build into a nice texture once the beginning guitar subdues. Also, once everything fades out, it leads us ominously to the next song.
“Something More Than Coincidence” brings the EP back to its initial height and promise with a mellow, more melancholic riff to start the track off. With the song’s progression, more guitars get layered onto this riff, and each step is more chaotic then the last. The song wins me over with its simplicity, and the slight variations to the song gives it that extra punch to make it a great track. I also loved how the song slowly willows away in the sound of distant guitars, and all is silent for the last track.
“I Want To Get Down To The Water” starts right up with serious intensity, and keeps that going throughout the whole track. The track really gains traction about halfway through the song, where the first riff from “You’re Afraid of Balloon Rides, Aren’t You” comes into play. What I found so fascinating was that the song sort of “finds” the riff out of the pieces of it and builds it back together. Not only does it construct the riff, but takes it further to a destructive, heavy, and wailing soundscape. Appellative brought the tracks together, and “Nomenclature” in itself is a very cohesive and flowing piece. The song finally dissolves into an ambient loop and dramatically ends.
Appellative’s more than satisfactory debut release stands tall, and even above most releases to come out this year. It is the perfect blend of creative, progressive rock with heavy emotions from happiness, excitement, and pure imagination to melancholy, abandonment, and despair. With around a half hour of music, “Nomenclature” is impressive in not only what it does musically here, but it is a glimpse of what Appellative will be with future releases, and I see a very promising future for this one-man project. You can purchase the album on Bandcamp and receive a bonus track “Meet Me In Montauk”, which is a previous single that comes with the EP.