With B-movie ambience and simian chattering, The Apes create a strange noise. Instead of rhythm/lead guitars, the organ player helps create an incredibly thick sound. Heavy, as in a wall of sound, Kyuss heavy. Combined with this is a yelping frontman paying tribute to the Jesus Lizard, backed up by distorted Ape sounds, surreal militaristic commands entering the album and pushing the band forward...
So, the Stooges playing a gig in the world of Dungeons and Dragons, if you want a soundbite. Recently seen on tour with the Mars Volta and Les Savy Fav, if the Apes fit in anywhere it is with the more progressive bands growing out of the American punk underground. The music is energetic, but not in any "get the fuck up!" nu-metal or pogo pop punk way, where you know when to jump because you've heard the song before played by 15 different bands. This is the interpretive dance end of punk, with moogs and backwards masking as well as the pounding drums and baselines. Rhythmic songs like "Lighting" and "The Mind" show this relentlessly slow power, the constant throbbing of the bass and droning organs cut through with the drums and slightly distorted vocals.
Elsewhere, amongst the primal songs is a strange atmosphere comprising of curious soundbites, intros and outros of distorted speeches seemingly delivered by Apes themselves.
"i have seen the apes legion, seep down from the mountains, gather in the forests, their eyes aglow"
The musical connotations associated with the organs so prominent in this music adds to a mystical, Castle Dracula feel from The Apes. The song "Apessounds" is perhaps the most menacing of the album, reminiscent of The Birthday Party's anarchically camp gothic feel, and is all the better for it. As the album ends, with "Ape Salute", it sounds like a computerised battlefield with some wizened old half strangled simian barking orders over the lasers and gunfire. It's oddly appropriate.
8Chris Owen's Score