Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ape Machine - Coalition of the Unwilling

Here we have the latest offering from Ape Machine. I'm just going to get this out of the way right up front. The only thing wrong with this release is that it is too short at only 6 songs. Other than that I'm all like, “Yay, new Ape Machine!!”

I will readily admit that I like this band a lot. The first time I saw them live my post on social media was along the lines of, “I've found my new favorite band”. So we'll just stipulate that I am biased. But this is a really fantastic album and if you're a fan of straight ahead rock and roll this is one of the better albums this year in that vein.

As I mentioned I've been a fan for several years now, and in the back of my mind I've always thought that singer Caleb Heinze really reminded me of another singer, but I could never place just who it was. After blasting through this album a few times it finally hit me. To my ear, he sounds like Myles Goodwyn from Canadian rockers April Wine, and I mean that as a sincere compliment. Those guys are probably my favorite Canadian rockers (no, I'm not forgetting about Rush). Mr. Heinze sounds in top form on this release, as does the rest of the band. They don't do anything really groundbreaking, but that is not the point or purpose of a good rock n roll band. They are supposed to come to your town, put on an ass kicking show, and then move on. This is a band you really need to see live, because as good as they are in the studio, they are way better on stage.

There are a couple of songs that are worth noting because to me, they are really cool and a little bit of a departure from what they have done before. I like it when a band stretches out and tries something a little different, but they don't go so far off the deep end that you wonder what the hell you just listened to. (Lulu, anybody?). “Under This Face” is one of those tracks. These guys are definitely rooted in classic rock, with a little groove and swagger thrown in for good measure, and this track shows the band flexing a little bit. “Never My Way” is a killer track. It reminds me a bit of “Dazed And Confused”, and I don't recall the band doing anything quite like this before. I always like to see a band show a different side and they definitely do that with this track. And for the cool factor, there is a cover/re-vamping of the Edgar Winter chestnut “Frankenstein”, nicely re-titled and made their own, called “Ape'n'Stein”. It is a very cool version and something you must hear.

Overall, this is a very solid release from a band that continues to grow and develop. They tour a lot so check them out when they come through your town. And pick up some music from these guys. You'll be happy to have this as part of your collection.


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