Brain Ape – ‘Dara O’ (Standard Edition).
Brain Ape – London, England, United Kingdom.
Three men and an Alien. No, it isn’t some dodgey perverted internet hit, rather some UK-grown Stoner Rock.
Formed in 2012 in London and consisting of Minky Très-vain on vocals and on left-hand guitar, Dydy Haynes, on right-hand guitar, Sol on bass and a certain Mr. Siberian Alien on drums, Brain Ape – other than single handedly providing a good case for the existence of Aliens – have been concocting an ever so groove-laden mix of Grunge-laced Stoner Rock.
The band’s influences speak for themselves. Greats such as Sonic Youth, Queens Of The Stoneage, Kyuss and the latter material of Nirvana to name a few. Now these are all well established bands, and in some cases, citing can often turn into emulating a little too much, but this is not the case with Brain Ape.
Instrumental sections, crushingly distorted riffs, chilled numbers, up-tempo Punk flirtations, bluesy bits and looming Stoner-groove; let’s have a look at this album. Dara O’:
Track one, ‘Rig It’, riffs its way in and isn’t going to let up or shift. The verses are driven low, fuelling forward the Grunge-esque vocals that help the music to loom over you, as you headbang in perfect and epic slow-motion, especially for the simple, yet crushingly effective, riffage that plays you out.
The song’s video suits the music perfectly. You essentially get two-score of stoner distortion for your senses, for a very good price too, as it might be a FREE album, you’ll just have to keep reading to find out.
Track two is entitled ‘Cold Sore’. The songs beat is much like the predecessor, but faster and right up in yer face. One of my personal favourites from the release, two has the “Punky” end of Grunge on it’s side and a memorable chorus to match.
‘I’d like to see my memory. I wont believe you’re of one of me. I barely see, my memory. Please don’t believe a word from me, I’M NOT MYSELLFFF!’
The tone is taken down for track three, ‘Perfume’, at least until about 2:22 when we go fully plugged. From then onwards however, you basically get a meaty slab of Nirvana-infused Hardcore Punk. The only real complaint with this song is it’s placement on the album, ideally this would have been placed mid-album, as a teaser of the down tempo before the fury of its latter parts.
Played in by the gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar at the half way point, we have ‘Red Rash’. Again, the Nirvana influence is notable here but not unwelcome.
As pleasant as that was, it’s time to get back to business with ‘Sarcastic Tender Gender’.
Another album highlight, it’s a mixed yet cohesive blast of Punk-fuelled, Blues-infused Stoner Rock, that had me playing it over and over… and not, I’d like to point out, because I was reviewing it. The ending blasts of this this one are particularly head-bang worthy. My neck was not ready for this album.
Meanwhile, ‘Meanwhile’ is another slow number. The majority of the tracks play as one huge build up that keeps you waiting, again, to around the 2:20 mark. Even before the intense deep bass rumble, distorted rhythm and slow, yet whirling crescendo that lasts up until 3:09, the entire track rolls along with an intensity waiting in the wings.
‘Dope Free Stoners’ is the penultimate number and, unlike a “dope free” Stoner, is an up-beat track. Laced with bouncy guitar work for the majority of its air time, the crescendo-led sections and riffage take the centre stage again in the latter moments. Despite this not being the first time on this album that said formula has been used, it works regardless. In this case, the vocals situated above the noise are what really make it.
‘Inked’ is the final track of the standard edition of Dara O’. It’s a good song, fitting for the release, but seems to fall short ever so slightly of the others. No album or EP is perfect. Some have a great many “five star” tracks and a few not so. In this case ‘Inked’ is a good track, there is nothing wrong with it, it just doesn’t seem up there with some of the other belters in this album.
Now, there is an extended edition of the album, available to purchase in a gleaming hard-copy, while the standard version is available for a FREE download. All links shall follow so rest assured. Finally, a stream of the full extended album can also be found below.
- Keep track of all things Brain Ape via their Facebook profile.
- The band’s music – both hard copies and the FREE download – can be found via their profile at Schlimbum Records.
- For a full stream of the album – Click Here.