Ape Machine - Darker Seas (CD)
Catalog number: RIPCD098
Along with fellow Portland, OR-based heavyweights Red Fang and Danava, the high-powered quartet Ape Machine has been making it’s modern take on vintage hard rock for the better part of the past decade. Ape Machine has been called “a rock and roll band with a finger on the pulse of the 70′s and their asses firmly in the present” and “real heavy-psych for the iPhone generation” that delivers “true guts and glory rock and roll.” Formed by singer Caleb Heinze and guitarist Ian Watts, the group self-released their first album, entitled This House Has Been Condemned, in 2010. The name APE MACHINE is a nod to the days of reel-to-reel magnetic tape audio recording; a fitting moniker as the band plays through vintage tube amplifiers and lays down its songs using exclusively throwback quality studio equipment. Perhaps San Francisco's CBS TV affiliate, KPIX 5, said it best when it noted that, "Plenty of acid rock groups know how to put together solid riffs, but Ape Machine manage to nod to cornerstone influences like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and still write original songs steeped in blues and heavy psychedelia."
The making of the new album, Darker Seas, saw the band experience death and rebirth in more ways than one. During the making of the record, Caleb and Ian lost a mother and father respectively, and Brian experienced the birth of his first child, a son. The band went nearly bankrupt from relentless touring and untimely vehicle failures, but ultimately developed an unshakable determination and resolve to deliver the message of the music. Musically, Darker Seas reflects the personal struggles of the band and its members but also the patience developed by living through it all.
"Sonically, 'Darker Seas' takes on new territory for the band with use of vocal harmonies, melodic guitar harmonies and even some Cello on "Nocturne in D Flat (The Jester)," says Watts. "The songs paint a picture of trial, hardship, pain and optimism all at the same time."