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The Yard Apes – Devil’s Road: Album Review

via Sludge Factory

A lot of bands’ Shangri-La would be selling out Wembley Stadium or touring Ozzfest but THE YARD APES would be at home playing an outback muster after dark with fires burning in old oil drums, as the masses dance up a storm or find themselves parked on hay bails unwinding from a long day with a local brew. Their debut release Devil’s Road delivers country town music, with big smoke productions and southern American influences as far as the eye can see, yet they are unmistakeably Australian.

Opening track Goin’ South is an upbeat and catchy number which is an ode to youthful, lust-filled joyrides that sets the pace for the entire album as THE YARD APES blend rockabilly, surf and just a hint of psychedelia. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Chain Gang Blues was a JOHNNY CASH cover as they incorporate his signature freight-train sound with lyrical references to prison life. Alas it is an original song, which is quite the compliment to this trio to be able to summon the essence of JR so well. Title track Devil’s Road has a very unique blend where the drums and bass are playing rockabilly but the guitars have an overly surf feel to them with the typical reverb laden guitar tones and high end lead breaks you’d come to expect from the likes of DICK DALE.

Down By The Lake is the final, longest and in my opinion, the best song on the album. Out of all the 9 tracks on Devil’s Road it doesn’t have the most complex musicianship, it doesn’t have the most catchy hooks or vocal melodies but it’s a slightly darker sound to the rest of the album. Starting off with a tribal drum beat and continuing on with a prominent bass line, the song sits around 115 beats per minute which is uncommon for a rock song in modern music. This slightly unusual aspect of the song enables the listener to still feel the driving force behind the drum beat whilst still having melancholic overtones.

THE YARD APES will undoubtedly keep plugging away, playing to anyone who will listen. Although it would be interesting to hear this band release a song or two with a more commercial spin on it because as it stands, I have my doubts that this release has the ability to cross over to those people who are not already fans of the genre, which is a shame for a band who shows so much promise.

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