Thursday, August 8, 2013
Ape Skull - S/T
Every now and then I like to pick a completely random submission that comes my way via email for review. I was just about to close my eyes, point & click when the subject line of an email jumped out at me. It said "Ape Skull…Heavy Psych From Italy!!!" As a proud Italian I felt it was my duty to ignore everything else and check out Ape Skull, a three piece band from Rome.
Album opener "Lazy" shares a title with one of my favorites by Deep Purple but Ape Skull's song combines Hendrix and Captain Beyond. Singing drummer Giuliano Padroni even sounds a little like Captain Beyond's Rod Evans, who was also the original singer in Deep Purple. We're off to a great start! "So Deep" continues the Captain Beyond influence but mixes it with First Daze era Pentagram and some "Stone Free" cowbell. "Time And Wind" is a slow song with an almost Allman Brothers feel, maybe even Eric Bell era Thin Lizzy. "Make Me Free" is a good Jimidelic boogie with some nice Blue Cheer wah wah freakout guitar. There's a cover of "I've Got No Time," a song originally done by the German band Orange Peel. I've never heard the original but Ape Skull's version makes me think of early Santana and Chicago Transit Authority. The Captain Beyond influence pops up on the next two songs "Take Me Back" and "Now I Get You" and that's not a bad thing at all. The album wraps up with the very Blue Cheery "Bluesy" and the Band Of Gypsy-ish "Hooka."
Ape Skull's debut was a lot of fun for me to listen to. The guitar work of Fulvio Cartacci is nicely fuzzed and freaky and bassist Pierpaolo Pastorelli thuds with authority. Both are credited with "backin’ vocals." As I mentioned before, drummer Giuliano Padroni handles the lead vocals and is clearly influenced by Bobby Liebling of Pentagram. All in all, this album was a lot of fun to listen to. Fans of Hard Stuff, the Groundhogs, Funkadelic (Westbound era) and all the bands I mentioned already you'll dig it, too. Va bene!