On Tapestry Mastery, their fourth release, Washington D.C’s The Apes set out to show the world their brand of dance-prog psychedelia they’ve been cultivating since 1999. This is the first I’d heard from the Apes, and they prove themselves to be competent bards, weaving three separate stories through the E.P.’s six tracks. The foursome defies the popular trend of ditching the bass, and instead omits the guitar, leaving it stripped down to bass, organ, drums and vocals.
Once you get past the fairly annoying computer-voiced intro, the rest of the songs show a band exploring with different sounds and effects to create an atmospheric collection of stream of consciousness chaos. Heavy on the organ, you can tell they’ve listened to their fair share of Deep Purple, as organist Amanda Kleinman drives the band headfirst into prog-punk country. This, combined with Erick Jackson’s almost synth/robotic bass sound, makes the absence of the guitar go unnoticed and unneeded. Check out the song “Mr. Changeling” for some great organ sounds.
The title track sounds like something taken straight from the King Crimson school of rock. With an epic build-up leading to a deep bass and organ breakdown, the Apes leave no question as what bands have influenced their sound. And when the chorus kicks in, one cant help but feel like the song has something to do with an elf and dwarf dance party, or other fantasy type shit.
The Apes are a band I wished I’d heard earlier in their career in order to see how they’ve grown, but nonetheless this E.P. is surely a step into the future for this foursome. And The Apes may even be more prog than The Mars Volta.
King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King
The Mars Volta – Deloused in the Comatorium
Deep Purple – Machine Head