Ape Machine - 'Mangled By The Machine'

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Ape Machine - 'Mangled By The Machine'

Monkeying is their business, and business is good.

Ape Machine certainly isn't a name that tells you anything about the band you're about to listen to, but I wasn't that optimistic when I first played 'Mangled By The Machine' (although in fairness I used to love Apes, Pigs and Spacemen, so go figure.) I'm not the worlds biggest fan of what is knows as 'Stoner Rock', because it's often dull, but all doubts were banished when I realized after a few seconds that the Portland band were a stoner band with big, furry ape balls proudly on display. Yeah, they rock, people, as in your socks off.

One thing that has to be mentioned is that 'Mangled By The Machine' is a concept album that was recorded in one long take. What is the concept? Ah, that's a tricky one because there's no lyric sheet, but I'm sure it's deep, meaningful and all that shite. The music is, literally, non stop, as each track segues into another. Some bands would see a 40 minute slab of music as a chance to gaze at their own navels and treat us to long, incredibly dull instrumental sections, but thankfully though Ape Machine may have Prog minds they don't have Prog abilities.

'Mangled By The Machine' is head-down bass heavy rock, with vocalist Caleb Heinze wailing over the top a bit like Ozzy Osbourne. The rest of the band aren't short changed, with each instrument brought to the front of the mix, all battling Damon Delapaz's pounding drums for superiority in a fight that ends in a satisfying dead heat.

This sort of music isn't necessarily everyone's glass of lager, but Ape Machine have managed to throw together some of the best parts of Clutch, Sword, QOTSA (before their awful recent album) and the likes of the Foo Fighters. Fast paced, heavy and melodic, 'Mangled By The Machine' is a collection of heavy harmony that is made for devil signs and headbanging.

Monkeying is their business, and business is good...

Alan Holloway

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