Manchester’s Dead Sea Apes don’t seem comfortable in whatever shape they are given, and pure points for balls on this one. Taking elements of psych, krautrock and drone always pushed them slightly out of the field, so they’ve taken the last track from their previous album Spectral Domain and injected a darkened dub element to it, reworking it into eleven tracks, including dub delays and monologues. Fair play, boys.
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You have to hand it to Dead Sea Apes. Whilst many psych rock bands are happy to plough the same old furrow forever and a day this band are restlessly trying to twist their sound into new shapes. Here they take sound elements from one song on their previous album and contort them into eleven dub influenced pieces. Yes folks it's the return of the 'dub version' LP.
What results is a sometimes inspired series of instrumental workouts. It veers between passages of brilliantly atmospheric pieces that have something of the PIL 'Metal Box' about them with clanking guitars, wierd synths and heavily tape delayed drums to other moments that feel a little too much like that time in a band practice where someone - usually after consuming a herbal cigarette - will utter the phrase 'dub workout'. I think dub always works best when kept simple and therefore the seven minute 'Pale Anxieties' is my favourite thing here. An extremely scary piece of monochrome music - the drums sound absolutely brilliant and the delayed vocals give it a particularly chilling air.
This is a really worthwhile exercise for the band which yields interesting results. I'd even like to see them strip things back further... let's get this thing really scary and minimal.
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