‘Dead Sea Apes’ are a band that push themselves, they don’t seem comfortable in being comfortable and it is their drive to create something new that always throws up something original and interesting. For this album they have teamed up with ‘Black Tempest’ for the first time since 2013’s fantastic ‘Sun Behind Sun’ (getting a much needed rerelease on Cardinal Fuzz). Also ‘Adam Stone’ add’s his particular brand of vitriolic, dystopian and melancholic monologues to the proceedings.
Album opener ‘Lost Hours’ initially reminded me of something musically, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, something German and mid 70’s but it was ‘Adam Stones’ lyrical tapestry that really struck a cord with its reflective lyrics that have the listener nodding in agreement. I think the theme of this album is a reflection of what we have and are experiencing over the last year. We have all undergone changes to our lives that seemed inconceivable only a few months ago and we have all suffered at some point in some way. This is summed up perfectly with a lyric from ‘Formica Desk’, “my job deserted me and it went to work somewhere else and left me sat at formica desk”, I’m not sure if this was aimed at working from home but it felt to me that it even though I have not had to work from home, I guess lyrics paint different pictures for different people.
Dead Sea Apes have an amazing ability of building tension and this album is no different, elements of the space dub that has been a feature on albums such as ‘Sixth Side Of The Pentagon’ are still there but there is a definite lean towards a krautrock vibe something which I think they have always had (they covered/reimagined Kraftwerk remember), but that influence feels more prominent on this album, my guess is the added synth work by ‘Black Tempest’ whose presence can really be felt throughout gives it that feel. The album closes with an incredible double whammy! The hypnotic mantra of the title track and the throbbing weight of ‘Empty Streets’, which probably captures this trio of artist at their claustrophobic best.
Dead Sea Apes make some finest music around, constantly evolving and morphing but always creating something that seems like it was meant for now or an unwritten future but anchored in the past. With addition of Adam Stone there is now a lyrical (black) mirror being held up and whose deadpan delivery on this album really adds to the heaviness, the whole thing is wrapped beautifully with addition of ‘Black Tempest’ whose music I have always admired because whether it be with ‘Dead Sea Apes’ of one his own has the ability to make less sound like more and make his presence felt by adding power and depth.
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