Right this foolishness must stop. One of WildnFree‘s favourite rock bands APES‘ released debut album Stranger Than Strangers on May 19 and WildnFree’s review coverage tardiness has kept her awake at night. No more. She wishes to sleep soundly knowing she’s given this equally tardy yet excellent debut, coming long after she first saw them live at the Grace Darling and never forgot it, plenty of well-deserved WildnFree love.
Clearly older and wiser after four solid years of touring and writing, APES have taken their time to deliver a classy and assured debut drawing deep on the rock capital they’ve banked since first EP Helluva in 2013. Splashed with vintage tracks Pull The Trigger, Strange Tastes, Dimension and If You Want It, plus recent killer single Filter, Stranger Than Strangers feels good and familiar before fleshing out more fully with a bunch of new bangers and ballads. Feel the relentless bass on Tomb push you around before the mad intensity of Fourth Point and Tired Face takes you over. Gentler number Better shows off songwriter and lead singer Benjamin Dowd’s cool ability to let some vocal emotion loose.
Produced by Michael Belsar (Hunting Grounds), Stranger Than Strangers was recorded in Melbourne over the full four years and features the work of some of well-qualified legends, including mastering by Grammy Award winning engineer Brian Lucey (Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys, Saskwatch, The Shins) and mixing by Mark Rankin (Adele, QOTSA, Foster the People, Florence and The Machine), Bill Skibbe (The Black Keys, The Kills, Fucked Up), Jackson Barclay (Birds Of Tokyo, Sarah Blasko, Daniel Johns, Luke Steele) and Malcolm Besley (Northeast Party House, Client Liaison, City Calm Down).
Melburnians, catch these fellas live at their album launch Yah Yah’s this Friday 9 June, no doubt it’ll get loose.