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Anxiety and triumph collide on The Appalachians’ new single

Three men wearing band t-shirts stare intensely at the camera in a black-and-white photo.
Nate Rapisada

Every week, Milwaukee Music Premiere connects the city’s artists with our listening audience. If you’re an artist with a track you’d like us to debut exclusively on Radio Milwaukee, head over to our Music Submission page to learn how.

There aren’t too many band stories that don’t include some form of adversity. Milwaukee power rock group The Appalachians got served a double helping — one much bigger than the other — and put together a strong response that includes today’s Milwaukee Music Premiere of new single “Killer Ritalin.”

Forming in 2009, the band built a solid reputation and a two-album catalog before calling what became a five-year timeout from 2015 to 2020. Way more significantly, frontman Adam Sutkiewicz was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma cancer. But he and his bandmates persevered, releasing 2021 single “Outside” and being dubbed “must-see” at Summerfest 2022 by the Journal Sentinel.

The Appalachians call their new track an “anxiety-fueled single,” and boy does it live up to that label. It’s almost as though they breathe life into ’90s grunge via chugging, churning guitar and Sutkiewicz’s growling vocals.

But whatever constraint exists in the early stages gets obliterated in the final minute. As the band explained, the song “quickly transforms into a lyrical reflection of internal struggles, ultimately escalating in a hauntingly primitive panic attack.”

Go along for that emotional ride by using the “Listen” button at the top of the page, and keep your ears open for “Killer Ritalin” on 88Nine.

The Appalachians also have a single-premiere show with Tigera, Lunar Moth and Smoke Free Home at Shank Hall tomorrow, Feb. 10. For a chance to win a pair of guest-list spots, email the band at theappalachians@gmail.com.