Ape! – 1991 [Transient Housing]

By Simon Hadley

Depending on your perspective, referring to yourselves as “time-travellers,” then naming your second, full-length LP 1991 is either conceptual or gimmicky. While it’s definitively gimmicky, Ape!’s chronological reference is also rather apt: the Jesus Lizard, the Melvins and Nirvana are cited as influences.

While 2009’s The Dirger was steeped in adolescent noise-punk: crackling guitar drones and abrasive vocals, 1991 is a grown-up record: a refined and nuanced approach to alternative soundscapes. Despite the inclusion of instrumental passages (‘1991’) and plodding, grunge-like retrospectives (‘Kindness Equals Weakness’) Ape! haven’t lost their edge: ‘Noisy Beast’ is loud and obnoxious, while ‘Vile English’ is a blast of scum-bucket thrash. “I live in a repetitious world,” muses Louis Sarris during ‘Mountain Man Victory Song’. Imagine how Cobain must have felt?