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Single Review: Appice Perdomo Project “Drum City”

There’s a lot of good music coming out of the rock scene at the moment, and in the hard rock genre specifically, one of the more talented duos to catch my attention this summer has been the Appice Perdomo Project. Comprised of a pair in Carmine Appice & Fernando Perdomo with enough musical experience to get your attention right out of the box, Appice Perdomo Project play a simple brand of hard rock and metal music combined with light groove aesthetics in their songwriting style that immediately scored points with critics upon the release of their previous independent works. Now back with a new single in “Drum City” this August, the pair are arguably sounding even bigger than their big-league streaming numbers would initially reflect. This is a competitive age in hard rock once again, but these legends came ready to play with the best of them.

“Drum City” has more obvious metal music influences than fellow new single “Running Up That Hill” does, and I think you could even deem it a crossover metal song based on the way the bass and guitar parts are made to interact with each other. There’s not the same cohesion that we would find in a mainstream hard rock release here, nor is there a plasticity that is frequently found in even the most earnest of hard rock/pop hybrids to come out of the underground these days. Perdomo is too loose with his melodic approach to remind me of anyone other than a classic tier for metal music too rebelliously melodic and freewheeling for the hard rock community, and yet giving this a proper branding seems almost insulting to the fluidity of the music itself.

These guitar parts probably wouldn’t have the weight they do in “Drum City” were they not being set to such a tempered beat, and rather than feeling a little slow, every deliberate pulsation from the drums feels sharp and not sheltered by a gush of melodic frills. There’s nothing quite like a classically-structured song that feels as crisp and natural on a good pair of speakers as it would be performed right in front of you at, well, a literal drum city, and this is one of those rare singles that takes us right to the concert without ever having to leave our homes. It’s arriving a year after the fact, but that only further separates Appice Perdomo Project from the trend chasers in and outside of their scene.

I do not believe that “Drum City” is a full measurement of what this duo could potentially produce together in the future, but I do think it gives us a lot of insight into who they currently are as an act and what they might evolve into if provided the right circumstances. There are still a couple of rough edges in their sound, but hey – compared to what has been passing for ‘hard rock’ on the majority of your FM dial in recent years, the few sonic shortcomings in “Drum City” authenticate the drive of its creators. Appice Perdomo Project care about making hard rock the way it was always supposed to be made; clean and untampered with, and that’s what this single is all about.

Bradley Wickham

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