Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Yard Apes - Devils Road

The Yard Apes
Devils Road
Impedance Records

Founded in 2009, and hailing from Ballarat (Victoria, Australia), The Yard Apes have been playing their brand of garage rock/rockabilly in front of anyone who’s been willing to have them up on the stage - earning themselves a bit of a name wherever they go. Now with the release of their debut full-length album ‘Devils Road’ hitting the shelves, it’s not hard to see why the three piece act (Comprising of vocalist/guitarist Brett Dunbar, bassist Greg Dunbar and drummer Adrian Jones) have been getting the attention they have.
The trio get things off to a somewhat relaxed start with the opening track ‘Goin’ South’, with the guitars giving off a warm and plucky tone, while the rock solid rhythm section locking into a cool blues/rock groove. Brett provides enough of a twang in his vocals to give that little something extra to the overall sound of the song, while the fuzzed up solo adds a great touch as well.
‘Misery’ remains true to its laid back pace and blues template, but the band do liven things up a touch with the traditional blues based ‘Chain Gang Blues’ (One of the many songs that showcase the band’s sense of humour on the lyrical front), which initially starts off nice and slow before really picking up in speed and volume towards its inevitable car crashing climax.
The title track ‘Devil’s Road’ is where the band really comes into their element, with plenty of speed and attitude coming through the band’s delivery of the tune (Veering close to psychobilly rock in some ways), while the dirty garage rock side of the band is brought out through ‘Man Overboard’ and ‘Beg’.
But as good as the album is up to this point, it’s the last three tracks where the band really shake off the shackles that seem to hold them back a little on some of the former tracks.
The infectious primitive drive of ‘Monkey Brains’ is a full on riot, while ‘Yard Ape Stomp’ and the closer ‘Down By The Lake’ are downright stomping efforts that retain the grit and rawness that true garage rock/old school rockabilly should have.
‘Devils Road’ may be little restrained and measured in places, but otherwise for the most part, this is a great little debut for The Yard Apes, and one that comes highly recommended to fans of good quality garage rock/rockabilly tunes at their best.

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© Justin Donnelly