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Ape Machine - Mangled By The Machine

Ape Machine
Mangled By The Machine
by Joellen "FreshMetalGal" Patterson at 12 August 2013, 12:35 PM

Oregon’s own APE MACHINE has a definite 70s sound combined with a present-day message of awareness of one’s inner being and societal constructs. One cannot help but agree with their bio that they sound like a band our parents would have blasted on their hi-fis.

Their recent release, “Mangled By The Machine” immediately bursts into and out of your chest with bone rattling Rock riffs. The technical styling of Ian Watts, Brian True, and Damon De La Paz are superb and fitting to the lyrics and multiple genres that the band integrates – Blues, Rock, Stoner, Psychedelic. The album, overall, presents itself as a pile-driving 10-movement suite. All of the tracks bleed into one another.

“Can you save me from the weight of my soul,” “Gun You Down” asks. It seems this track reaches in, grabs your soul and invites you to pound on the walls with it in pursuit of freedom and realization. The two-track highlight of the album was “Angry Man” and “Mangled By The Machine.” “Mangled By The Machine” reintroduces the signature 70s organ sound. The best example of Blues meets psychedelic music is “Ruling With Intent”. Voice box distortion can be heard in this track as well, a definite 70s effect with which we are familiar. It was a blessed relief to be able to discern the lyrics in all the tracks. They had a message to deliver, which I would like to read through. Unfortunately, the vocals seemed a one-trick pony act for the entire album, always rooted in Mr. Heinze’s upper register at a forte to fortissimo dynamic. It was a numbing experience by the half-way mark (end of “Mangled By The Machine”) and challenged any attempts to maintain focus on the message of the lyrics. Hearing more of his vocal and emotional range would have balanced the listening experience.

APE MACHINE’s biography states that they improvise in their live gigs. The album’s sound alludes to this overwhelming desire to go with the flow. This reviewer cannot help but wonder if an album format is too much of a box for such free spiritedness and that their best impression might be in concert. I would definitely like to find out.

3 Star Rating

1. Gun You Down
2. Every Body Bleeds
3. Tyrants Arm
4. Angry Man
5. Mangled By The Machine
6. Ruling With Intent
7. They Want You To Bleed, They Want
8. Grind Of Defeat
9. Strange Are The People
10. Pay Attention
Caleb Heinze - Vocals
Ian Watts - Guitar
Brian True - Bass
Damon De La Paz – Drums
Record Label: Ripple Music


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