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The Apes – [Album]

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Thursday, 27 March 2008

Of the litany of instruments a rock band uses, the organ just doesn’t come to mind as a tool that would cause audience members to nod their heads in approval. Somehow, something like the triangle or the cowbell resembles that rebellious symbol so akin to rock much more appropriately. Then again, guys who like to skate around on ice and beat each other up have been listening to the organ for decades.

This is where The Apes come in with their new album Ghost Games. The album sets you off into a land of mysterious 70s-era synthesizers, somewhere in between a hockey match and Sunday church service. The glorious pipes of the organ dance on your eardrums as Breck Brunson tells us to “Practice Hiding.” They provide the perfect backdrop for the high pitch in which he sings. The combination gives off a sort of creepy feeling, like I wouldn’t want to listen to this album alone in the dark anywhere, and I really like it. Maybe some things I shouldn’t admit.

Brunson, who is supposedly the band’s third vocalist, has a voice that really flows right along with the organ keys that Amanda Kleinman taps. The track “G.R.F.” has a great pace to it, skillfully employing the use of these different sets of pipes.

My favorite song on the album, “Walk Thru Walls,” begins with the slow sound of a rolling tide set against an alto choir. The landscape laid down on this track is a far cry from most garage rock heard these days.

By leaving the guitar out of their line up, The Apes ditch any attempt to sound like a normal rock band. Ghost Games is a true departure from the typical four-piece quartet, yet the resulting sound is similar to that of countless electro/rock outfits that have been popping up over the last few years. A trend that, more or less, was started with the popularity of producer James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem, and received a major boost when Daft Punk ripped through the cerebral cortex of all those fans (including yours truly) in the summer of 2006. With bands like The Rapture receiving renewed interest and small outfits like Ghostland Observatory making waves, the landscape is set for those looking to replicate guitar sounds without actually using said instrument.

More on The Apes here: www.myspace.com/apes and www.theapes.com

Ghost Games is out now on Gypsy Eyes.

Downloads:
The Apes – “Walk Thru Walls” from Ghost Games – [mp3]
The Apes – “Beat of the Double” from Ghost Games – [mp3]

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