Monday, June 3, 2013

Ape Machine - Mangled By The Machine

Ape Machine from Portland, OR are a band I have heard of but never really listened to and shame on me for that. Because here is Mangled By The Machine their third full-length album, the first for Ripple Music, and it absolutely crushes. Damn, it's such an eclectic mix of influences out of which they have created a melting pot of extremely good, nay, great heavy-ass music. And I have to agree with the band when they say, and I quote "Ape Machine is out to pound the apathy out of otherwise jaded listeners with a wall of heavy rock n’ roll". No words have ever been so true folks.

Gun You Down opens their onslaught on any unsuspected listener, yours truly included, and it is a roller coaster ride from the word go. Somewhat akin to Jane's Addiction in parts Ape Machine mangles me to a blood pulp...and that continues and increases as the album rolls on. After countless spins on my player the wall of rock'n'roll the band talks about gets louder, better, taller and breathtaking as it actually crumbles and falls at the end flattening me yet leaving me wanting more. Ian Watts is throwing out some weird but great time signatures and his riffing and solos are spot on; apart from keeping the rhythm flawlessly Brian True is a true riffmeister as well and is not afraid to leave the rhythm department soley in the hands of Damon Delapaz, a drum beast if there ever was one.

What strikes me the most is how melodic the songs are despite being so heavy. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean AOR melodic. What I mean is they have such a nice flow and rhythm just like the great bands of the 70's. What spices it up even further is the organic and full production which gives each part of the band equal share in the mix and that lifts the music as well. Those cool vibes from from decades long gone are enhanced even more with the sweet keyboard/organ work courtesy of Ikey Owens. The title track is the perfect epitome of the band. It is led-heavy, rocking, sweet and full of psychedelic jamming and trippiness...every little bit the trade mark of these Oregonians!

Mangled By The Machine is an album that sneaks up on you. As I have mentioned before it is a heavy record but for me it actually took a few spins to realize what is going on. Does that make sense? What I mean is some just explodes the moment you hit play, Mangled By The Machine is just about the opposite. After a little bit I discover I have been sucked into the maelstrom Ape Machine is and there is no escape. Which is absolutely fine with me because I like where the band takes me. Tyrant's Arm and Angry Man are perfect examples of this.

Some way into their career already Ape Machine have passed with flying colours with their Ripple debut. As damned great this album is there's not telling where and how far this band will go. They sure have more than what it takes to hit the big times which Mangled By The Machine proves over and over again. So it is with great excitement I will follow Ape Machine's progress.....all while being repeatedly mangled by the machine!


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