Out Demons


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Out Demons Review

by Nic Kincaid

Their second full-length, this time a full-blown studio collaboration with producer/drummer Dave Abbruzzese (Pearl Jam), the HairyApesBMX deliver a collection of amazing moods and styles, ranging from the mellow grooving opener "Seein Eye Dog," which sets a tone of airy beats, funky organ, and vibraphone melody, to the traditional cumbia "No Guerra" to the bass/beat heavy "Poison Water" to the electronic lounge of "Speed Queen." With strong musicianship and the thematic expression of personal demons uniquely represented through the voice of three very different songwriters, Out Demons speaks as pure salvation music -- that of joy, despair, and frenzied digging into the unknown. The Apes' gift as a group is their rebellious desire to throw traditional song structure, instrumentation, and modern usage of styles as diverse as the samba and cumbia out the window. Mike Dillon's career dedication to preserving D.C. go-go à la Trouble Funk and an almost single-handed uphold of cumbia, a traditional Latin style, is as much his unique artistic contribution as engineering its reconstruction on "Miss You Cumbia" into an aggressive rock backdrop for his personal death/dance therapy session. His ability to put together amazing groups of players and songwriters is a clear indication of his conscious desire to make musical schizophrenia meaningful artistically year after year and record after record. The live drum'n'bass splices within "Poison Water" fulfill the records' most progressive moment, mixing unearthed soul in a deep release of emotion and modern musical risk-taking. Released on the upstart We Sell Soul record label, Out Demons also features saxophonist Mark Southerland.

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