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The Ape

the-ape

The Ape
Ape Records 

Here comes Perkins’ latest act of self-invention, The Ape. The Ape isn’t, as Perkins has made clear already, a complex beast: it’s dirty-arsed garage rock’n’roll with enough funk and soul (courtesy of Perkins’ supporting cast, Raul Sanchez, Gus Agars and Pat Bourke) to make you get your derriere wiggling on the dance floor.

The opening track, Mission, operates on multiple levels: the grinding riff and Perkins’ salacious lyrical commentary throw back to rock’n’roll’s primitive origins; the title itself offers a brief glimpse into a wider economic context. Crawl Back is slow and funky enough to elicit a wry smile from Sly Stone; Don’t Need Nuthin’ is James Brown fronting the Beasts.

But there are other moods to The Ape: All Of Us mutates from power ballad into heavy grunge rock experience; Gonna Make You Love Me is the best Beatles track Perkins has ever put his hand to; All The Same is slick, sexy and charismatic.  The sparseness of It’s No Fun strips The Ape concept back to its skeletal form; Kitchen Monkey would be at home strutting the clubs of LA back in ’79. Jane locks into a blues-rock groove but finds more contentment in the arms of The Faces than Canned Heat; I Can Feel A Thing suggests vulnerability – though, really, is that part of the Tex Perkins raison d’être?

And therein lies the issue – is The Ape for real, or is it part of a rolling tide of irony? And maybe it doesn’t even matter. Just suck it up.

PATRICK EMERY

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