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Tapestry Mastery by The Apes

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Reviewed on 15th November 2004.


Tapestry Mastery

By The Apes

The Apes allegedly make music around drawings they make. If this is the case then I would love to see this art-form and would love to hear there reasoning behind introducing their Tapestry Mastery EP with a monologue of a robot receiving a parcel through the post and proceeding to put into his cassette recorder. Does this suggest humor? Does this say that The Apes have to excuse their music by pretending its not entirely serious? Sonically the record is dirty, gritty and a punishment to the creation of old fashioned Rock' n Roll.

If I had to pick a soundtrack to be played after I pass a midlife crisis this would be it. It is a soundtrack to a child at the headmaster's office; it has that dirt dungeon sound to it primarily due to the distorted and heavy, pounding drum kit. Sure, this kind of scenario could be the scene for a death metal EP, but Tapestry Mastery isn't. It uses elements of classic chromatic rock 'n blues and processes them into a dirty guitar sound. The sound of a Nord organ sits at the front of the mix with the vocals, suggesting its importance and highlighting the role it plays in the band. The organ appears to be The Apes' most significant trademark (apart from the robotic voices and mish-mash guitar sound) and for a minute you get the feeling you're in a progressive rock version of Phantom of the Opera.

A robot (which is perhaps an alter ego of one of the band members) sings on "Mind of Maximilla", giving the song the an uneasy edge which makes it a personal favorite; it's unlike the others. The production is heavy and captures the energy of the bands' live performances well, providing enough energy yet still remaining entirely listenable. The beats of drummer "Jeff Schmid" appear to be another important feature in this band; the sound is captivating and you get the feeling that the guitar is essentially being replaced by the gritty walls of sound from the drums and bass. Then sitting nicely amongst them is the organ; which on a first hearing appears to be a novelty but is soon noticed to be a significant part of The Apes' sound.

Picture The Mars Volta at Blackpool Pleasure Beach... providing your imagination can reach this extreme, you should be able to picture the sound of The Apes. As the record ends with a set of computerized noises and another monologue, you get the feeling that the terminator has become a rock star and has just punished your ears.



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