The recent two-track EP by the quartet The Apartment Club is one of the most promising local releases of 2018.
On these two tracks, the band — singer-guitarist Acen Herron, drummer Geoffrey Kelly, guitarist Jake Bagwell and bassist Nate Kelly — takes the more skeletal framework of guitar-driven indie-rock created for its self-titled EP and adds a sense of drama, along with a layer of dreamlike, moody production.
The EP, called “Doubt Vol. 1,” begins with a grinding stomp called “Bad/New.” Over interlocked guitars that are alternately intricate and brutal, Herron wails in a wounded howl through the chorus, then retreats into a smoother delivery during the verses, lending a sense of vulnerability to the song’s tense give-and-take. The second track, “Doubt,” starts with a single choppy riff before building into a rage-fueled juggernaut; its structure feels similar to The Cranberries hit “Zombie,” ending with a hailstorm of guitars rising around Herron’s frantic scream.
Herron says he’s especially proud of that track, because it shows how far The Apartment Club has come in less than a year since its previous release.
“The big difference is that for the first release, I wrote a lot of those songs by myself in my college dorm room,” he says. “But now, it’s turned into, ‘Let’s see what we can write as a collective unit.’ ‘Doubt’ is kind of the culmination of that. It’s just us working together, putting things into the pot and seeing what comes out. It’s turned into this beautiful mess, and we love it.”
As indicated by its title, “Doubt Vol. 1” is only the first dose of new music from the Spartanburg-based band, which will perform at the Radio Room in Greenville on Friday night with 72nd and Central, Chew, and Courteous Monk. With an eye toward ever-shorter audience attention spans, the band has taken a set of six recently written songs and divided them up into a staggered release schedule.
“You could put it all out there at once for people to listen to, but we’re pairing them up to have constant releases,” Herron says. “In today’s music industry, you have to constantly be releasing something, because attention spans are short and it’s hard to find a foothold. And that’s something we wanted to get our hands around; we want to release something every two or three months. and have people waiting for more. And these two songs that are a great way to kick this off and get a feel for where the band is going sonically.”
If there’s such a thing as buzz on Greenville’s music scene, The Apartment Club has it; the band has developed a devoted following among both fans and other musicians around town.
“2018 has been an amazing jump-start,” Herron says. “People have taken us in as their own. People are coming to see us and singing along to songs, and some great bands have become friends of ours. It feels like we’ve been adopted by the Greenville scene and it’s great. Greenville’s been really good to us, and it’s growing scene that we’re proud to be a part of.”
- What: The Apartment Club, with 72nd and Central, Chew and Courteous Monk
- Where: Radio Room, 110 Poinsett Highway, Greenville
- When: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4
- Tickets: $7
- Info: 864-609-4441, http://www.radioroomgreenville.com/