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Music Review: Acustalapse – Self-Titled EP

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After playing small venues as a resident band looking to be discovered, Los Angeles-based Acustalapse took matters into their own hands. They recently self-produced a stunning self-titled three-track EP featuring three of their most intensely memorable songs.

The EP kicks off with “Into The Blue,” a song that started as a simple jam session and then grew into a four-minute growler set against a blistering baseline and drum beat. While the band frequently slates “Into The Blue” as the last song played at live performances, it fits in perfectly as the introduction to this alternative rock band on the rise.

“This song means a lot to me because it taught me to accept the inspiration of others,” says frontman Robert Andersen (guitar/vocals). “Kristen Andersen (drums) and Adrianna Parnagian (bass) wrote the main bass and beat. I was about to walk out the door and ignore them, but then something pulled me back in and pick up the guitar.”

Aside from Andersen’s snarling vocals and Parnagian’s soulful baseline lick, “Into The Blue” nails one of the band’s finer guitar solos. And prior to the release of the EP, the song frequently landed in the top ten songs on any indie station that played it. It would often stay there for weeks on end.

The second track, “Rid Kid,” makes a perfect follow-up. It hints at the band’s earliest leaning toward punk and grunge, unapologetically writing songs that take on contemporary topics. Even the song’s lyrics were written down with a specific intent. The tone, angst, and anger might have wild swings throughout, but the words never change.

“The song’s meaning is about the youth of our generation constantly being over medicated and how Ritalin is one of the most popular drugs being given to kids,” explains Kristen Anderson. “This song … this rant … is an homage to those kids.”

Instrumentally, their third song, “Scatterbrain,” is the strongest, with a double baseline, fluid drum work, and acoustical drops that make you forget the band is a three piece. It carries one of the best progressions, most melodic vocals, and changes riffs.

“Scatterbrain” also harkens back to the days when Robert Anderson was composing everything on an acoustic guitar. It is also the only carryover from the days that the band was a four-piece called Relapse.

Nowadays, the band works more seamlessly with both Anderson and Parnagian writing songs, often combining bits of each other’s poetry together. Other times, they jam first and write later.

I originally stumbled onto the band last year, months before the EP was ready for release. You can learn more about its history as a featured indie artist pick. For anyone who loves alternative rock reminiscent of another era but with a fresh sound, Acustalapse is a band to watch this year.

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About Rich Becker