For more than fifty years, Carmine Appice’s name has been a guarantee of hard rock quality. The legendary drummer and songwriter doesn’t involve himself in projects that aren’t thrilling. His track record is undeniable: he’s hit the skins for Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, Sly Stone, Pink Floyd, and many other groundbreaking bands. If Carmine Appice is working with you, you know you’re going to rock. So Appice’s commitment to KODIAK ought to be deeply meaningful to fans of the rough stuff. Not only was Appice behind the boards for KODIAK’s upcoming debut album, but he also directed the video for the group’s latest single.
It’s not too tough to see why the Toms River, New Jersey quartet appeals to the Classic Drummer Hall of Famer. Much like White Reaper or Greta Van Fleet, they make music that feels timeless – music that would sound just as appropriate blasting out of a Sunset Strip or Asbury Park club in the early ’80s as it does on a modern playlist. Theirs is brash, swaggering, deliciously sleazy modern rock, complete with big beats, buzzsaw guitars, and vocals dripping with attitude. Wisely, Appice’s production isn’t too polished: he knows that hard rock fans can take a little bruising. He’s captured the freshness, excitement, and danger of a live KODIAK show with remarkable fidelity. No, you’re not there in the room with these guys, but you might as well be.
“Alone” follows the explosive lead single “Goodbye,” a relentless stomper that earned the quartet comparisons to early Van Halen. The new one is even more brash, fiery, and catchy than its celebrated predecessor. With its roof-raising shout-along chorus and its souped-up, overdriven six-strings, it feels like a perfect bridge between two beloved Jersey styles: the muscular Turnpike hard rock of the ’80s and the immediate, urgent pop-punk popular in the Garden State (and elsewhere!) for the past two decades.
Notably, the video for “Alone” underscores the band’s Jersey origins. You’ll see footage of kids in diners, crowded highway intersections, boardwalks, and the band pounding away on the beach at Seaside Heights, the rowdiest of Shore towns. Appice has also reprised some of the playful, engrossing digital effects that KODIAK employed in their “Goodbye” clip: bright washes of primary color and filters that make the frames appear to be hand-drawn. Edited by Robert Neilson, it’s all frantic, kinetic, eye-catching, and more than a little psychedelic, too: a party you can’t help but get swept up in.