A warm voice connects with a soft guitar’s melody in the opening bars of “Nobody Knew,” the new single from Carmine Appice, and though the harmony that they produce together is a little rough around the edges, it fills the speakers with a rich vitality that will only grow more striking as the song continues to chug forward. If you think that the string play is reminiscent of something that you’ve heard a thousand times before, it isn’t because the notes have been recycled or repurposed from something out of the classic rock lexicon; it’s because they’re being distributed by Brian May, whose name has been synonymous with thunderous rock guitar for decades now. With May, bassist Tony Franklin and singer Kelly Keeling, Carmine Appice invites us to enjoy a track bathed in the bloodline of a legendary group of players, and even if you’ve somehow never heard their individual contributions to rock n’ roll lineage, I would recommend that you take a peek at this single and its music video nevertheless.
CARMINE APPICE URL: https://www.carmineappice.net/
The physicality here is totally organic in spirit, and while the mix is efficiently constructed as to keep our focus split between the different working parts in the song, I don’t know that any studio recording, no matter how sterling, could capture the energy that a composition like this one would create live. A sense of restraint follows the lead vocal like a dark shadow, as if to imply that Keeling isn’t going as far as he can in a couple of the verses here, and though Appice’s drumming is quite intense, it never gets to the point of rattling the floorboards in the way that some of his previous work with other acts has.
This isn’t to say that I think they could have made “Nobody Knew” a little more impactful with a better production style – the exact opposite, really. Tracks like this one were meant to be enjoyed in a packed concert hall surrounded by other excited fans, and while it’s not the most elaborately-mixed song on Guitar Zeus, it presents us with as much of the masculine bravado that this crew can muster from within the confines of a studio setting.
You can’t beat seeing the real thing in person, but listeners who have been hungry for a throwback to the days of a rock n’ roll supremacy untainted by some of the commercial elements that have become all too standardized and trivialized in the 2010s will probably find “Nobody Knew” to be a really fun spin this winter. Carmine Appice has been steadily making beats through a lot of different eras, and in the reissue of Guitar Zeus, he turns the spotlight towards certain components of his sound that still hold a tremendous amount of relevance as we enter the next decade in popular music history together. I believe that his story is far from reaching its conclusion, and if he’s as productive in the next ten years as he has been in the last forty alone, the Carmine Appice legacy will influence another generation of drummers in need of a worthy inspiration.
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