Brainstorm Records [Release date 29.03.19]
This trio from Germany released their debut in 2017 . ‘II’ continues the guitar driven hard rock instrumental vibe. Opener ‘Gravity’ gives a fair impression of the album as a whole, decidedly retro with classic rock trio memories being evoked from Budgie to Taste.
There are also definite references to the sort of pile driving melodic guitar rock that one Joe Satriani does so well, if a little less refined. Guitarist Jeff Aug was born and raised in the States but now lives in Southern Germany. Great support throughout from bassist Florian Walter and drummer Kurty Munch.
The trick here is that no one tune outstays its welcome, most come in at the under four-minute mark. Most are unadulterated wig-outs, lashings of wah and repeat motifs on ‘Shoegazer’ and ‘No Chords Allowed, Jonathan’ and the groovy ‘American Eagle’ amongst the highlights. Only the final track ‘Matilda’ breaks the mould and curiously includes vocals and a fiddle.
Instrumental albums often fail because of inconsistency, musicianship or quality of material. Ape Shifter exceed all expectations. Go ape!! ****
Review by David Randall
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