APE SHIFTER – Ape Shifter

Brainstorm 2017

APE SHIFTER - Ape Shifter

APE SHIFTER –
Ape Shifter

Shape of things can be deceptive, when simian instrumental rock strives to inherit the Earth.

With no deficit of trios that drive metal wedge into fusion context, guitarist Jeff Aug has a special edge to stand out on: his experience in punk zip and acoustic flip alongside regular rock moves. All of this informs the American expat’s new venture whose debut, recorded in only two days to seize the moment’s immediacy, is a charming, if complex, endeavor. The band clearly have a laugh in the absence of vocal mic by marrying all things cerebral to the animalistic – as titles such as “Brain-O-Mat” suggest – but there’s always a texture to give the race on the likes of “Hot Rod” a serious aura.

Once Lovecraftian suspense of opener “Uhlultc” has grabbed your collar and made a riff ride like a monkey on your back, the buzz can’t be stopped, so when the last chords of “Superhero Helden” die down, you’re awash with exhilaration. While German rhythm section shine on the angular “Verdammt” and Aug’s filigree licks often hit celestial heights, the bluesy “Revolution Summer” demonstrates a heavier kind of gravity, and “Desert Rock” throws sharper, stoner-shaped shards your way.

“Ratchet Attack” – at 5.11, the longest track on the record – may introduce some drag to the drift – yet that’s where headbanging will kick in, as pauses between bouts of pummeling let fresh air into the mesh. Breathe in and breathe out: it should help you shift the load and go ape.

****1/3

May 26, 2017

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