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Single Review: Appice Perdomo Project – “Running Up That Hill”

“Drum City” introduced us to their sound, and now in the new single, a cover of the iconic “Running Up That Hill,” metal duo Appice Perdomo Project gives us a closer look at their identity as a modern super duo in an increasingly electrified era for the rock genre. Although the demand for metal/rock hybrids has been much greater than that of others in the past year, Appice Perdomo Project doesn’t sound like an act that keeps up with the trends their peers are obsessed with integrating into their sound. This is a metal outfit that cares about melody and the might of the beats they throw around which sadly makes them one of the few detail-focused bands I’ve heard in a while.

The harmonies feel more metal than they do rock in “Running Up That Hill,” but they don’t feel so ingrained in brutish aesthetics as to seem insular or self-conscious. There’s a big difference between the retro rockers and the more charismatic players who simply take influence from the broad range of metal as it’s come to be known in popular music over the past sixty years, and I think Appice Perdomo Project make it pretty well known in this single that they’re respectfully a part of the latter group and not the former.

This compositional substance is perhaps the greatest source of warmth in this piece, and I would love to hear what these grooves would sound like when played in a live setting as well. Most of us already know that the flexibility of this song makes it such a plausible cover for a lot of musicians potentially as intrigued by the notion of stripping away the fat from their sound as Appice Perdomo Project is, which isn’t to discount the originality of their performance here at all. Making a strong cover means developing material other players have made their own, and in this regard, this duo might be one of the more exciting coming into their own this August.

I picked up on the musical bond between these guys in this song the first time I listened to it this week, and I don’t know that you need any background on the creators of “Running Up That Hill” to appreciate this element of its origin story. There’s a relationship between the musicians sharing the recording studio for this release that affects every detail and manner in which we would interpret the narrative, and because of how tight these two are, we can get a good feel for what they can do when the content is as strong as their connection is.

From classic rock buffs to the more casual metal listeners among us (including myself), this new single from Appice Perdomo Project is an ace if I’ve ever heard one before. It might not live by the rules of the traditional metal sound a lot of us remember from ages ago, but this song’s marriage of metal harmonies and rock grooves is something I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed by as I am this summer. “Running Up That Hill” is an affectionate tribute for sure.

Kim Sullenberger

About Michael Stover

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