Memorial - Mile High City [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Mile High City [12-inch] (2011)

Run for Cover Records

However incremental, each stage in Peter Appleby's musical trajectory has shown a different set of influences, with a range in the resultant quality. His hardcore band, Count Me Out, provided approvable youth crew rehash with a cool edge. Renee Heartfelt played post-hardcore of the literal and stylistic variety, traversing the sort of occasionally sketchy brood exemplified by Failure and early Elliott. With the first couple of solid releases under the Memorial banner, he took from '90s Revelation acts like Gameface and Farside, with even some of Quicksand's lighter crunch. And yet, even now with his band's long-delayed Mile High City EP, there's something relatively different here--but it's also some of the finest tones he's crafted so far in his musical career.

What you get here on Mile High City is the kind of turn-of-the-century alt-rock that went largely underappreciated at the time--namely, stuff like Rival Schools, and Cave In circa Jupiter/Tides of Tomorrow. Hell, Appleby even kind of resembles a crossbreed of Walter Schreifels and Stephen Brodsky (check that falsetto on "Jar Like Flies"). Sure, a lot of the bands mentioned above are rather intertwined, but there's something about the alternately crunchy guitars and spacier maneuvering on Mile High City that points rather directly to this period of time in post-hardcore rocking hard.

The aptly titled "The Opener" is three minutes of great and gritty, melodic indie hard rock with a solid hook on offer. But the more expansive moments are just as cool, if not better. There are the wandering guitars initiating the bridge and acoustic/whistling outro on "Jar Like Flies"; the ever-patient crescendo of ominous guitar strums in the verses and pounding chorus of the seven-minute "Beyond the Beyonds"; and the spacious, roomy acoustic closer "Headed Downtown". Admittedly, yeah, the Cave In influence is pretty heavy during these times (the subtle build in "Beyond the Beyonds" resembles that of "Everest"'s), but it's still pretty gripping stuff. And the lyrics are less celestial and more, well, environmental. The imagery of skies, rivers, hills and trees take precedent over planets and galaxies.

The majority of this EP was tracked way back in March 2010, with release coming just this past September. So by now, Memorial may have even shifted to another whole set of inspirations. Either way, Appleby and co. are really hitting their stride in drawing out compelling and creative songs from such pools of tastes. Hopefully we're not waiting quite as long for the next installment.

Mile High City EP