Ape Machine (Mangled By The Machine)
Crank this to 8.8 of 11
Genre: Stoner Rock, Hard Rock
Sounds Like: Collision, Styx, Wolfmother
Portland Oregon continues to crank out talented artists. Perhaps its the bacon sprinkled doughnuts that inspire, or the high number of small city blocks downtown, or the fact that its got a dormant volcano in the city limits built on a lava field, or even the pit stop at the worlds largest independent bookstore or the fact that naked women parties are prevalent featuring clothes burning and swapping.
The four-piece band Ape Machine veer a bit from the eclectic Portland scene and hit us with some straight atcha hard rock interwoven with psychedelic rock accents all upon an analog recorded background. The songs are concise and the album tends to crank through 38 minutes of more upbeat tracks vs. their more fuzzed out previous two albums. After multiple listens you can really feel the precision and peacefulness that guitarist Ian Watts brings accompanied by Brian True's very solid bass-work. Lead singer Caleb Heinze's vocals are often inspiring and anthemic hitting high registers consistently throughout each track. He can rival Dennis De Young any day of the week. The album contains a variety of catchy hooks and melodies such “Everybody Bleeds”. Uptempo beats keep this a high energy concise affair.
1. Gun You Down (4:02)
2. Everybody Bleeds (3:52)
3. Tyrant's Arm (3:38)
4. Angry Man (4:18)
5. Mangled By The Machine (4:29)
6. Ruling With Intent (4:07)
7. They Want You To Bleed, They Want You to Bleed Out 3:04
8. Grind Of Defeat (3:35)
9. Strange Are the People (3:34)
10. Pay Attention (3:54)
The nice part about Mangled By The Machine is that there are no problematic tracks and the album does not try to do too much. It bleeds a very upbeat and inspirational feel and sticks to the formula throughout. The title track throws in some well placed organ-work with some tremendous guitar grinding. "Angry Man" is one of our favorite tracks, with some very infectious riffs with a little 'Uncle Salty' flavor. Interesting how the last two tracks get even more catchy and tight. No wandering or tangential experiments going on here.
Hard rock fans should without a doubt grab this one. Too bad sports venues stick with the same AC/DC and Metallica overdone and boring formulas. Crowds would be appreciative of the fist-pumping adrenaline that Ape Machine offers. We can scratch our heads a little bit with the oddball name (random animal use in band names is rampant) along with the overuse of the work machine. But the reality isMangled By the Machineis a well crafted upbeat album that we are hoping to get some word of mouth recognition out there. Albums like this deserves some buzz even though a few years have passed.
Standout Tracks: Mangled By The Machine, Angry Man, Everybody Bleeds.