Pulsing electronic buzzing underlaid beneath a shrill radio signal introduces track one of “Color Blind,” the upcoming release from the Tony Appleseed group. Anthony Defabritus III (who goes under the moniker Tony Appleseed) will debut the EP during a free show at the Asbury Park Yacht Club on Friday, June 3. It’s the band’s highly-anticipated sophomore release, dropping just a year after “Metanoia.”
On “Color Blind,” Defabritus proudly displays the evolution of his group from indie rock progressives to far more experimental, electronic conspiracy theorists. Nearly every track on the EP features psychedelic synthetics and a paranoid intensity that is all at once familiar and totally alien.
The song “Komorebi” opens with plinks and beeps, but is extremely extra-terrestrial rather than fitting for a club scene. It alternates between fuzzy, electronic breakdowns and the song’s powerful, upbeat chorus. Both the music and the lyrics come across as stubbornly optimistic in the face of turmoil (“I’ll just tell myself what I need to hear”).
Meanwhile, the EP’s title track features Arctic Monkeys-esque vocal reverb over electric guitar and powerful keys. “I wish we were all colorblind / We need to shed this hate ‘cause it’s only in our minds,” Defabritus sings.
The appropriately-named track “Blunt Point” ends almost as soon as it begins, complete with Defabritus speaking over a simple pseudo-techno beat.
A similar syncopated rhythm introduces “The Thinking Man,” while the song’s vocal progression grows more distorted. Pitchy, electronic keys round out the track as it cruises to a close.
Not every track is experimental or otherwordly, though. “Type 0 > Type 1,” the EP’s first single, highlights the group’s folkier influences. Its utilization of delicate “oohs” and “ahs,” pretty keys and light percussion makes it a stark contrast against track one.
The album’s masterstroke, though, is its finale, “Pronoia.” Distorted electronic sound effects melt into an intense piano wall, built up with the addition of an electric guitar groove, Nintendo-reminiscent plinks and a jazzy, bass-heavy interlude that’s fit for the opening credits to a spy flick. The track also makes use of a rain stick, a foam pad, a textbook and a toothbrush.
It concludes with an eerie display of childhood toy sound effects — a rattle, the wind-up tune to a jack-in-the-box and an animal sounds game, to name a few.
“Color Blind” is truly an innovation in itself and the first step for the band into an evolving genre. The Tony Appleseed group will be playing on Friday alongside one of Defabritus’s other bands, Little Big Toe, as well as Homeless Apians and No More Pain.