Originally posted on Under the Gun Review.
Sometimes great bands are like old friends from high school. You might not think about them every day, but you know when you do get a chance to catch up that it’s bound to be a good time. Such is my relationship with The Appreciation Post. While they’ve never been constant headline-grabbers, the Boston, Massachusetts band have proven to be a reliable source of catchy, intelligent pop punk, which is exactly what you’ll find on their latest EP, Slip Away.
It’s been almost four years since the last proper Appreciation Post release, 2010’s Work/Sleep (although B-sides from those sessions have periodically seen the light of day, and they were all compiled for a 2012 deluxe edition), but there are no signs of rust on Slip Away. The quintet’s distinct hybrid of early Weezer and Motion City Soundtrack is in full force on “So Much For Memories” and “The Not Knowing,” which feature precise guitar and drum rhythms interwoven with bright synthesizer lines. Frontman Jim Keaney’s production brings all of the elements together, giving the songs just the right amount of gloss to sound huge without losing their edge.
Keaney’s lyrics on Slip Away are at times viciously self-deprecating, as on the EP’s opening track, when he sings, “Quick, brain, think, brain, what would a human say?” but his ability to poke fun at himself lets him tackle topics like aging and isolation with candor. The result is a collection of relatable quips like, “And as the years escape, I’ve yet to accept that there’s more adding up than shitloads of debt.”
Everything great about The Appreciation Post comes together on “Auxiliary Floor Toms.” “I’m so irrelevant, still banging my head,” sings Keaney on what is probably the best song in the band’s entire discography. It’s an anthem for anyone confused by current trends and anyone who’d rather listen to rock and roll than whatever has taken over the radio this week. If you’ve ever found yourself missing the glory days of Drive-Thru Records, this song will serve as a powerful reminder that you’re not the only one.
Keaney sums up his band perfectly in the song’s bridge when he asks, “At least I’m consistent, but does that count for anything?” In context, the question is rhetorical, but I’ll answer it anyway: Yes, it does. As long as The Appreciation Post is releasing music as good as Slip Away, I’ll be listening.