Brother Ape - On The Other Side

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Progress Records
Catalog Number: PRCD014
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:26:00

I'm not sure what it is, but I kept on calling this band Brutal Ape. Maybe it's the fierce looking ape on the front cover, which strangely enough wasn't present when this album was first released two years ago. Only 500 copies were ever pressed up, all of which were sold during concerts. Although I've never heard of these guys before, they have been around for a number of years and decided to release their first full length 7-track all by themselves. A while later they were picked up by Progress Records who suggested to re-release their debut album, yet augmented with another three tracks in order to have a better total duration as the original release was rather short for Progress' standards. Already from the very first seconds I knew I was in for a real treat here. "The Jerk" combines both typical progressive highlights as well as a very melodic approach, as if Saga were to merge with Karmakanic. It sounds fresh, with the right amount of complexity; a well balanced sound and creativity as well as skill delivered all over this album. One of the trademarks of this band is that they tackle all kinds of influences and genres in order to mould them into the Brother Ape sound. "Waiting For The Sandman" contains slightly soft fusion, which in the distance might include some Yellowjackets atmosphere, whilst from a vocal point of view rubbing shoulders with Dutch seventies underrated band Solution.

During "I Freak Out" the instrumental section leans towards early Brand X with an emphasis on the guitar. Listen to the band's "Railways" and immediately afterwards take Pat Metheny's Still Life (Talking) out of the cupboard and listen to "Last Train Home." Enough said! Acoustic guitar forms the focal point during the peaceful "This Hour," nicely blending with vocal harmonies resulting in kind of a fragile lullaby. More vocal acrobatics during "Farewell Song," which embraces hazes of Yes' "Nous Sommes Du Soleil." "Lucky Fool" follows the authentic singer-songwriter tradition with an honest acoustic guitar backing the pure vocals. This superb album closes with the longest and most incredible track "On The Other Side," yet again reaching for a perfect blend of seventies American rock with a dash of contemporary prog. I hear elements of Saga, Yes and even Return to Forever genius and Weather Report darkness. In short Brother Ape is one incredible new find and we have to thank Hansi Cross for enabling these guys to deliver an all around diverse and professional album, which thanks to the help of Progress Records, will now have an impeccable worldwide distribution. Good reviews and healthy sales will undoubtedly push this band forward, so we might look forward to more incredible music and hopefully some live dates, too. Long may the ape reign! Brother Ape has clearly signed for musical Apex!

The Jerk (5:04) / Waiting For The Sandman (4:37) / I Freak Out (4:59) / Railways (4:50) / Clockworks (5:24) / This Hour (4:45) / Unaccomplished (4:15) / Farewell Song (4:31) / Lucky Fool (2:03) / On The Other Side (7:53)

Max Bergman - drums, percussion
Stefan Damicolas - guitars, vocals
Gunnar Max?n - keyboards, vocals, bass
Peter Dahlstrom - bass, vocals

On The Other Side (2005)
Shangri-La (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: May 16th 2005
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1167
Language: english


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