Village Voice -- ""Beat of the Double" is the most transcendent slice of new-wave-masquerading-as-art-punk you'll hear all year."
Suite101 -- "...covers just about everything that makes rock music wonderful while adding their own distinct style....a euphoric, albeit demanding listening experience....every song manages to be catchy without turning the band into a one-trick pony. Apes is by far the most interesting modern rock band right now, and if their unprecedented style doesn’t sell you, their rampant energy will."
Chicago Reader -- "...a 2007 SXSW show hailed by assorted pundits as the second coming of something no one had ever seen before -- but the new Ghost Gamesis their first full-length since 2005. It's also their first with their third lead singer, Breck Brunson, but the band, by turns funky and twitchy, stiff and swaggering, sounds utterly confident in the chemistry of its compositions, from the flubbery riffing of "Practice Hiding" to the nervous tension of "Info Ghost" to the dark psychedelia of "Fade Out.""
Seven Days -- "Their new full-length album Ghost Games is a less-is-more tour de force....This is an art-rock band of the highest order. And all without a single six-string....the band sets a playfully sinister tone from the outset and doesn’t let up... Bassist Erick Jackson provides a subtly melodic low end, employing all manner of fuzzy electronic gadgetry. Combined with Kleinman’s devilish organ and Jeff Schmid’s bombastic drum work, the band concocts one hellish cauldron of subversive rock noise...Apes’ latest disc is a brilliant reminder that rock can be about much more than mere guitar wankery....Ghost Games hits stores Tuesday. Guitars will be obsolete by Wednesday."
Sentimentalist Magazine -- "Turning in their fourth musically dynamic album, Apes never fail to deliver a wide range of musical genres. Always eclectic and highly driven, the band creates some incredible music, including songs like the first track, “Beat of the Double”. Their psychedelic sound provides a 60s feel to the album, adding another dimension to the Apes’ already diversely tuneful attitude. Through their versatility and pumped up rhythms, Ghost Games is an intensely jam-packed album with no choice but to enjoy."
Ivory Towerz -- "Live, Apes command their audience like no other modern band I’ve seen....Ghost Games...captures perfectly the band’s onstage apoplexies and quirky charm, in what is easily their most interesting, fully developed, and uniquely Ape-like work to date....It seems the addition of Brunson, another creative mind in the mix of madness, has reinvigorated the band’s pursuit of greatness onstage and on record.
TimeOut NY -- "New vocalist Breck Brunson’s high, glassy tone is a great fit with the guitarless Washington, D.C., quartet's wild sounds (from protometal and psych to sci-fi-tinged new wave). What hasn't changed is Apes' neat balance of goofiness and raw power."
URChicago -- "With their newest release, Ghost Games, Washington, D.C.'s the Apes have gone local, teaming with hotshot indie label Gypsy Eyes to deliver their sixth full-length in as many years. That's a lot of staying power, but is it worth it? One listen clears up any doubts. The Apes don’t make any quantum leaps here; they still sound like a tour bus collision between early Black Sabbath and the Lyres. They do manage to refine the sound to near-perfection, and Amanda Kleinman's distinctive garage organ is more well-honed than ever. A few tracks, especially "Dr. Watcher" and "Beat of the Double," are as good as anything they’ve ever done and mark a pivotal moment when the band crosses over from young turks with a unique and recognizable sound to old reliables whose every release is cause for celebration. House-rocking fun for your first bong-rattling party of the New Year. -- 4/5"
Buffalo News -- "Art-pop is alive and well on the freakishly bizarre planet of the Apes, who deliver a left-of-center masterpiece in the form of "Ghost Games," the collective's first album with new vocalist Breck Brunson, and easily its finest to date. Be advised -- if you have no interest in experimentation and eclecticism in pop music, don’t bother sticking your finger in the Apes' cage. You might lose it. However, if you can comfortably envision a wacked-out hybridization of early Talking Heads, Television, Public Image Limited and Beck, "Ghost Games" will appeal. It's brazenly creative, unsettling, surprising, yes. But it's impossible to get out of your head once it's gained entry. That's a mark of subversive brilliance, something we could use a bit more of in pop."
Drowned In Sound -- "The first album from these Washington DC-based avant-funk freaks to feature new singer Breck Brunson is a typically manic collection of retro rock-hued modernist befuddlement. Among the best acts witnessed by DiS at 2007’s South By Southwest, The Apes’ fourth studio LP following releases through Les Savy Fav’s Frenchkiss label is a three-thumbs-up winner of surreal lyrical content and toe-tapping breakdowns."
Alarm -- "The new songs are magnificent and massive. "Walk Through Walls" opens with a quiet, plinking keyboard before expanding into a monster groove with Brunson's lyrics exploring telekinesis. "Practice Hiding" features a strong, simple beat and dirty, pulsating bass topped with wailing organ. "G.R.F." is a peppy track, with Brunson warning against the self-defeating pursuit of success -- ghost rat fever. "Beat of the Double," The Apes' most spry song yet, extracts the band from their thick aural fog with '60s girl-group handclaps, and synthesizer burps punctuated by Brunson's reedy voice relating a tale of doppelgangers."
Daily Phirebrush -- "...Fortunately, this change hasn’t tempered with the band’s ‘70s influences (Deep Purple), contemporary ties to the current indie-rock scene (Les Savy Fav), nods to fuzz-rock (The Kills), or weird, unpredictable segues (Coil)....Freak synthesizer blasts, epically-powered drums, furry bass growls, deafening organ murk and sludgy undertones – unburdened by what would otherwise be over-sleeked guitars and ego-feeding solos – form a bomb of a record that both grooves and bangs."
First Coast News -- "...the band is still rambunctious as ever but there's far more structure to their songs and even, dare I say it, more melodicism. In fact, it might be fair to say that Ghost Games is their finest work to date....songs like "Dr. Watcher" and "Beat of the Double" are quirky jitter art pop masterpieces that jerk around in spasms of rock n' roll turbulence. No, this isn't your fathers Apes; these Apes are a war machine of string theorists' hell bent on subjecting the world to weird spazzy pop from another world."
MOJO -- "The Apes are one of the wildest acts on today's underground rock circuit, combining baroque, Deep Purple-esque keyboard flurries (courtesy of mask-wearing organist Amanda Kleinman) with aggressive Fun House rhythms (bassist Erick Jackson and drummer Jeff Schmid are as primal as the band's name suggests)....Inevitably, some of the impact is lost on disc, but this third LP does feature their catchiest songs to date." (2005)
Chicago Reader -- "...organist Amanda Kleinman showboats in a sweaty, rapturous way, indulging in indecent human-instrument relations just like Jimmy Page did with his violin bow and dragon suit. She insinuates herself obtrusively between Erick Jackson's bass lines and Jeff Schmid's drums, and the combination works wonderfully. Their fourth album, Baba's Mountain (Birdman), doesn't quite have the caffeinated restlessness of earlier discs; they're more willing to ride a theme long and reap all its rewards, as on the Sabbath rip "Imp Ahh." Their shifts and changes are now more graceful and rubbery than stiff and twitchy, and their already delightful sound, at once heavy and poppy and seriously silly, is much improved for it: everything in their garage-in-outer-space arsenal works in the service of hookiness. If they can come close to duplicating the delirious effects of the new album onstage, this gig will certainly justify their reputation for fantastic live shows." (Apr 2005)
Columbus Alive -- "Apes have released a record that equals the epic power and energy of their downright essential live shows. Baba’s Mountain (Birdman) showcases the group’s deafening organ murk and blunt-bass metal, but this time there are perfected stabs at melody and carefully arranged segues poking out from the sludge.
While there’s still an outlandish thread connecting the songs throughout (this time centering on a pilgrimage to a sacred mountain peak), it does little to stifle the exhaustive chug of “Imp Ahh” or the delightful macabre of “The Zookeeper’s Night Out.” Once merely a jaded indie-rock excuse to resurrect the foggy haze of Deep Purple or the prog-ish maze of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, the Apes have come into their own as a behemoth of freaky psych accents and visceral future punk.
Still, the live show is the purest form of Apes madness -- it leaves most audience members choking for air after an hour of blistering volume and nihilistic destruction. " (Apr 2005)
Houston Music Review -- "The Apes are what the apocalypse would sound like if Iggy Pop was god.... they make every other whiny indie-band's performance look like watching your grandma bake cookies while knitting an apron for the lead singer of such indie band."
Fader -- "Oddeyesee is full of driving psych-rock put together with a sense of restraint and imagination...at a recent DC gig, they were brutally tight and loud, which is to say, everything you want in a rock show." (Nov 2003)
Village Voice -- "Organ-driven-and-crashed DC combo The Apes -- hey, hey, we're the Apes! -- count among the top indie acts in the country to see live." (10-1-03) "They attack with fuzzed out Deep Purple organ that throbs angry Birthday Party-esque goth riffs, driving bass and drums that channel uptempo Melvins marches, and a frontman that has a classic rock/Blue Cheer growl." (6-25-03)
LA Weekly -- "...offer more than the contrived chaos their name might imply -- they're out for complete sonic Armageddon. Seriously. If you can get through the wall of rhythmically glorious noise, there's a load of bizarre imagery...and otherworldly atmosphere to get lost in. It'd bring to mind the intoxicating mysticism of '70s stoner metal if it weren't so damn vivacious -- and if it had guitars...these primates prove you don't need ax-lickin' or -pickin' to rule the rock stage. In fact, Amanda Kleinman's psycho-delic organ rave-ups and singer Paul Weil's fierce vocal vamping crash together to form a boisterous bomb that's heavier than most of today's headbangers, and just as groovy as the latest crop of overhyped garage grinders." (6-13-03)
No Ho LA -- "Often bands that are as utterly unhinged live as the Apes fall flat on their face on record...Oddeyesee, the Apes' second full-length, is an album so tight one would expect the band to be a victim of the reverse situation, that of being phenomenal in the studio, yet invariably falling to pieces live. Well, in my not-so-humble opinion, the Apes have swung far past either hurdle." (6-20-03)
San Francisco Bay Guardian -- "Unburdened by guitars, unbridled by inhibition, and heavy as hell, Washington DC's Apes could very well rule the psych-rock jungle...See them live, feel the fugue, and it's clear these Apes could be monsters." (6-11-03)
Hearsay -- "...their justifiably epic new album is loaded with moments of unabashed bombast...the kind of rave-ups that bands like the Datsuns can only, um, ape...It becomes obvious that these musicians don't just write songs, they write brilliantly demented anthems." (7-03)
Los Angeles Times -- "...the Apes' sound is so heavy and weird that you can't stop listening...Songs like 'Aboard the Ark' are art-damage minimalism at its most gloriously messy. They wear costumes, you wear earplugs." (6-15-03)
Slug -- "Not stoner, not metal, not garage, not psychedelic and not even the soundtrack to some old Vincent Price movie, the Apes' new release is rather some of them all; plus, you can dance to it." (Summer '03)more | back to top