Very Ape

Kosher Boogie (Alive/Total Energy)

True to its name, Very Ape communicates in wholly animalistic -- as in natural and urgent -- terms. Hailing from the same snow-capped Scandinavian environs that have already given us the Hives and Hellacopters, these ape-men are not only the ugliest band currently practicing; they're also drug-free, as they make clear on several of the songs on this album (most notably "Don't Search My Records"), making Kosher Boogie the pinnacle of rehab rock. Vocalist Mattias Silvell, a blond, bearded satyr with a perpetual crazed look in his eye, has a gruff delivery that evokes everything from a classic barroom bruiser to the strained exorcisms of such heavy metal mono-men as Rob Tyner and Ian Gillan.

Very Ape never comes off as sanctimonious. It just sounds like it's seen some miles, and that shows not only in the composition and musicianship-- which is impeccable -- but also in its influences, which date back to the early '70s heavy-metal hothouse.

It steals the opening from the Smashing Pumpkins' "Disarm" and turns the riff into a two-minute instrumental called "Disconnection Syndrome" (how's that for pillaging the archives?). "A Cool Kind of Misery" competes on the same stoner-rock terms as decidedly unrehabbed American counterparts Nebula, which proves that, even without the pipe, Very Ape is smoking.

 
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