Review: The Apprehended – “Can We Just Speak” (Single)

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Former football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” Though appealing and relatively easy as this may sound, Lombardi’s words bear a much deeper and ultimately more significant process. His statement implies that, in your endless chasing of perfection, you continue to grow, to transform, and improve, and only then- by repeating this process without cessation- will you achieve excellence. Although (arguably) this cannot necessarily be currently said of the former coach’s team, the Green Bay Packers, South Carolina’s The Apprehended stands as a true testament to Lombardi’s words. Their new single, “Can We Just Speak”, is brimming with an amalgamation of magnificent solos, raging riffs, and bone-snapping breakdowns that clearly set the band on a fast-track towards excellence.

An atmospheric-esque fade-in intro rises with the fleeting addition of vibraphone tones before exploding into a frenzy of frantic, eye-widening melodic arias, punchy riffs, and pulsating percussion before taking a sudden turn into tumultuous hard-hitting verses and split-scream harmonies. The Apprehended flexes their diverse range, as the introductory rush of heavy instrumentation abruptly dissipates into a brief, gorgeous, gentle piano medley that then turns into well-crafted fills and throbbing riffage. Guitarists Ramey and Williamson masterfully blend a mixture of accentual pull riffs and minor sliding and slightly discordant chords to their catchy chugged verses. But what’s most impressive-other than Ramey and Williamson’s attention to minor detail(s) in verses  and their perfect working harmony- is the stellar execution of multiple flyaway, skin-shredding solos and overlays that they frequently rip and sail overtop the hail of fierce instrumentation, adding a layer of instrumental and lyrical emphasis and depth that will swallow you whole. Drummer Josh Dooley audibly rages war against his kit as he delivers a neck-snapping display of crashing cymbal play, quick footwork, and perfectly-crafted minor accentual fills and rolls as bassist Matt Snow’s clearly-audible, ferocious bass lines steadily lurk beneath the surface of the heavy instrumentation and often burst forth in the form of quick licks and sliding grooves. Vocalist Michael Pitt flexes his mighty and diverse range, placing his main focus on his clean singing as he oscillates between harsh screams and his upper register. The addition of mellifluous backing vocals from Ramey and Williamson allows for a huge amount of vocal and lyrical depth and intensity that often takes place in split-scream harmonies, layered verses, and brilliant clean-sung harmonies that are expertly blended to metal perfection. Multiple, vicious breakdowns abound this track, each one- no matter how brief- delivered with a perfect amount of ferocity and pure, unadulterated energy to induce shattered tibias and multiple skull fractures as you rage along with the bone-crunching instrumentation. A final wave of heavy chugging and frantic melodic arias in the outro mercilessly thrash at your ears before swiftly fading away into the previously-heard, brief piano medley, leaving you breathless, shaking, and begging for more.

The Apprehended’s “Can We Just Speak” is an excellent example of the working harmony of pristine musicality, technicality, and passion.  The unwavering amount of musicality and energy- alongside each member’s attention to minor detail- creates a perfect, balanced blend of musicianship that flows so freely and vibrantly between every verse, crashing cymbal, vicious riff, and soaring solo that is even becomes apparent in the silence in between each note. “Can We Just Speak” is a dynamic, vivacious, and enthusiastic track that brilliantly demonstrates how to truly catch excellence. (Katt Hass)

10/10

For Fans Of: Our Last Night, Periphery, Pierce The Veil

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