Out 17th Sept 2013
Great Apes are a punk band from San Francisco. They claim to “play it fast, play it loud, and make it stick”. And they’re about to release their latest album, Thread. Check out our review below.
It’s been nearly two decades since the band Jawbreaker split, and in those seventeen(ish) years there have been more wannabes trying to tread the exact same ground than I care to count. But there’s a huge difference between a band that is influenced and by a band & one that is merely rehashing an already established sound. It would be easy to lump Great Apes into the latter category but to do so would be to totally underestimate them.
So, sure, this does sound a lot like Schwarzenbach’s influential punk rock trio but it’s hard not to sound at least a little like the band that pretty much started this particular strain of the punk rock virus. And it’s not as if Great Apes haven’t twisted this into their own variation, implementing a plethora of more modern elements into their sound. Great Apes are the next stage in the punk-rock progression of evolution. If Jawbreaker are Neanderthal, and The Lawrence Arms are Cromagnon, then Great Apes are the form in which punk-rock becomes modern man (evolution….apes….get it?).
Thread is not merely a straight up punk-rock record (regardless of how the band describe themselves on facebook), as there are influences outside of a strict “punk” framework creeping into the album like an underage teen into the local club. Now and again I hear elements that are reminiscent of hardcore noise-makers The Bronx, ‘Withering Heights’ is a good example of this, showing that the boys from the Ape are pushing the genre to the much tougher, and far more raw, end of the punk swimming pool. The vocals tell this just as much as the instrumentation as the use of guttural timbres of voice become more and more apparent as the record progresses. In fact, the whole album seems to cascade from an upbeat, somewhat pop-punk style, into pure aggression, dirty distortion, and an overall atmosphere that’s as brutal as a drunken weekend with Caligula.
Do you want something that is both catchy yet violently ruthless? Filled with red hot rage yet still upbeat as hell? Do you really like punk-rock? Then Great Apes’ debut, Thread, is probably just the ticket.