With the growing popularity of Stoner Rock lately, it was only a matter of time before Portland, Oregon’s Ape Machine got picked up. After two self-releases, the band will be uncaging Mangled by the Machine this May through Ripple Music. Mixing this modern sound with traits of early Rock ‘n Roll, this album tries to set a new standard for today’s music lovers in the name of The Sword, Black Sabbath, even Van Halen. This only hurdle ends up being the cymbals, shifting between crisp an incredibly washed out.
This doesn’t stop Ape Machine from rocking hard. “Gun You Down” finds an electric chorus bursting out with energy, while the slower psycadelic riffs of the main verses will easily find your head bobbing along in euphoria. “Tyrants Arm” pushes the buzzing bass riffs in a much faster direction at times, maintaining a nice funk to the upbeat performance. But none stands out more than the drug induced “Rule With Intent,” a mellow and extremely trippy seventies Stoner Rock track complete with church organs and heavily distorted vocals that only last through the beginning. These are just a sample of what is brought brings to the table, not including the many Blues or gritty voodoo-oriented atmospheres. Ape Machine may be a new group, but Mangled by the Machine will speak to Rock fans of all eras.