The Apers

Reanimate My Heart

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Dutch pop-punks the Apers have made a decent career out of fairly utilitarian melodic ramalama in the great Lookout! Records tradition. Of course, with that long-running label falling apart in the early 2000s and most of the scene's key bands either going part-time or breaking up as their leaders pursue more mature career paths (The Mr. T Experience's Dr. Frank is now a best-selling novelist, while the Smugglers' Grant Lawrence is a popular disc jockey in his native Canada), someone needs to step up their game to fill the vacuum. Reanimate My Heart shows that the Apers may well be that band, even if they perhaps aren't quite there yet. There are no outright clunkers among these ten well-constructed tracks, but several lack the spark of lyrical wit or tuneful hooks that would push them beyond merely serviceable. However, the album's better tracks are killers: "Rather Eat Glass" and "Back Against the Wall" mix the requisite snottiness with hyperactively tuneful riffs, and even the lyrically average opener "It's All Over You Know" throws in some surprisingly Beatlesque backing vocals. At its best, Reanimate My Heart is every bit as good as a quality Screeching Weasel or Queers album, which is all the praise it needs.

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