Ape War: Witch Fight

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Ape War: Witch Fight
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Ape War: WitchFight
Crust Punk
Self-release
March 14th, 2012
Release length: 7:37
Bandcamp
Facebook
In March of 2012, Ape War stormed onto the Crust Punk world with their debut EP Witch Fight. The five song recording hasn’t gained much attention, but given the raw garage studio recording quality, it’s kind of understandable despite being available through their Bandcamp account as a name your price download. That said, is this recording worth giving a spin, even if the only cost of seven-and-a-half minutes of your life?

Most of Witch Fight puts the band’s hostility at the forefront despite the production flaws. The vocals are incredibly loud and show the problems with raw recordings, not to mention sound like a more nasal Animal from The Muppet Show with a matching drum performance usually behind it,, and some slightly distant guitars and bass. “Alberta Report” starts off with a military style chant before heading right into some catchy riffs that are cloaked by the enthusiastic, yet quickly exhausted screaming. Thankfully this is the roughest track of them all, but it’s unfortunately since the music seems the most enjoyable of the five.

“Witch Fight” is a little basic at times, and ushers in a change to the audio quality that makes those spots stronger. The levels are better overall, pushing some deeper shouting that lets the guitars come through more. There is a slower section that hits before the latter eccentric riffs, but a good chunk of the energy and fun from “Alberta Report” are not lost here, on the upbeat “Korean Hard Uncle,” or the closing “El Salvador.” “Shrubbies,” however, just sounds held back in the main verses, though the two-step chorus and some later riffs drop that thicker sound and go back to the faster complexity Ape War does best, ending with a slower groove that is a bit out of place. Sadly all of this hits a little too late to save the ugly blemish of the release.

If Witch Fight had some better volume levels throughout, it would be a lot more enjoyable, but the overall raw approach does works for Ape War and what they set out to do here. While not a revolution to the underground Crust Punk scene, or any Punk style for that matter, it shows a band that has a good idea of what direction they want to go in, and one that possessed a drive to perform hard hitting shorter songs that aren’t afraid to just be as fun as they are gritty. Yes, a better production quality would help this release stand out, but for now, Witch Fight is a nice display of Ape War‘s potential that’s worth at least a spin or two.

01. Alberta Report – 1:02
02. Witch Fight – 2:22
03. Korean Hard Uncle – 1:10
04. Shrubbies – 1:46
05. El Salvador – 1:17
Initial Pressing Score: 6/10

Ape War
Ape War

Digital review copy of this release provided by personal funds.