A 21st Century update to the classic power-trio format, Appomattox turns out infectious pop songs that pit soulful vocals against angular guitar riffs and keyboard stabs, backed by a rhythm section at once bouncy and bombastic. Based in Brooklyn since 2006, the band has played just about every rock club in the city – Pianos, Mercury Lounge, Glasslands, Knitting Factory, Le Poisson Rouge, and many others – drawing a diverse fan base and garnering praise from such rock icons as Ian Mackaye of Fugazi, Mike Watt of the Minutemen / fireHOSE / The Stooges and Nels Cline of Wilco.
“[Appomattox] – one of the best live bands in town – is taking pop music’s ultra-digestible format and cramming politically charged lyrics down its throat,” writes Mike Levine in The Deli magazine. “But don’t worry – singer/guitarist Nick Gaynier makes the medicine go down easy.”
Gaynier’s tenor combines the urgency of punk rock with the melodious, pitch-perfect precision of Hall & Oates, as the band’s rhythm section – Dave Nurmi on bass and James Mello on drums – follows along in lockstep. These guys have been playing together for more than a decade, and it shows.
"I heard one of their albums in a bar last year and hunted them down and started going to all of their shows,” says Jonathan Cohen, the music booker for the Jimmy Fallon Show and former editor of Billboard, as he compares the band to early Police and Fugazi.
The comparisons might be apt, but Appomattox isn’t the least bit derivative. Even as they draw from the past to create their tight, catchy, hard-driving songs, the trio continue to push their sound forward, helping to define the future of New York City’s ever-changing rock scene.