Friday, January 25, 2013

G&P Review: Ape Unit

Ape Unit
Unforgiveable Holidays

Comedy grind is a tough business because it opens you up to new opportunities to crash and burn. Not only will people turn a critical eye on your grindsmithery, but it opens up your lyrics, presentation and art to additional scrutiny and people talk shit about your sense of humor.
Ape Unit's grind is adequate but maybe a touch too enervated to blast them out of the pack. Unforgiveable Holidays has a nice low end hum to it, but it's just missing that adrenal piss and spit that jolts the best grind to life. So the Italians' success will largely depend on how you react to their smirking sense of humor.
Their humor is more heh than ha-ha funny. It's all giant fat kid butt cheeks on the CD, goofy samples and absurdist song titles like "The Bad and the Breakfast" or "The End is Near, Tijuana is Nearer." So goofing is their business and business is good. But unlike Birdflesh or Crom, Ape Unit keep far back from that precipice where their clowning overpowers the actual songwriting. The songs are more likely to skate by at a punk beat rather than go full on blasting, but Ape Unit bend comedy in the service of their grind rather than allow the whacky hijinks to overwhelm the art.
I wish Ape Unit had a bit more musical punch to go with their Punch and Judy show, but Unforgiveable Holidays is a comedy grind record that doesn't go all Carrot Top desperate to make you laugh and keeps things in perspective.

[Full disclosure: the band sent me a review copy.]

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