Actual Persons Living Or Dead's self-titled debut EP | Record Review | Indy Week
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Actual Persons Living Or Dead's self-titled debut EP 

(self-released)

Offering their self-titled debut EP for free via bandcamp.com and as a giveaway at shows, Durham trio Actual Persons Living Or Dead follow the paradigm of start-up acts of the early '10s—make the music, put it in the world and see how people respond.

Actual Persons sound more like indie rock of another time. From the mix of local bands (Work Clothes, Wembley) and art rock luminaries (Velvet Underground, Galaxie 500, Joy Division) APLOD names as influences, one gets a fairly accurate suggestion of this band's interests. It's congenial, unpretentious and neighborly music, built on a foundation of thoughtful repetition and breezy atmosphere.

And indeed, this teaser offers glimpses of real promise in its shambling Sunday-afternoon indie rock. Joyce Ventimiglia, the band's leader, delivers lines with the same deadpan tone as Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon as Pavement-like guitar melodies wind around her vocals. Kerry Cantwell plies simple, steady drumbeats, countered by plinking auxiliary percussion. Dave Cantwell keeps his bass lines near the instrument's middle register, prioritizing countermelodies over rhythmic plod.

It's fair to suggest that Actual Persons' best work is still ahead of them—these parts seem to be still congealing. They're pulling together good parts, at least, especially in the interplay between guitar and bass. "...Or It's Like a Bunny" kicks up the tempo as it concludes, and finale "No Es Lindo" finds the band creating a thin fog of pensive guitar tones and ringing cymbals before letting the song build into an ascendant post-rock resolution. But the whole remains, mostly comfortably, in the mid-tempo, mid-volume middle ground, only hinting at greater dynamic range.

The EP is clearly a moment captured, a developmental stage in the creation of a band that is, presumably, granting us permission to watch its growth.

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Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

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Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Remember that time the "journalist" took to the comments section to fire off a snarky response when called out on …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure that if the press release we received had mentioned Chris Grubbs, the article would have reflected that crucial …

by David Klein on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure John Meier hasn't been in this band for quite some time and Chris Grubbs wrote and recorded this …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

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