APE CITY R&B: “Firestarter” b/w “Wot I Say”: 7”

My main concern with garage—like bands of Ape City R&B’s ilk—is that it can be in-the-red and pushing so hard the entire time that they sound like they’re choking the listener. With the strained vocalist, chummeling guitars, and beat-battered drums, it seems easier to sidestep the whole ordeal all at once, like if you zone out just a little bit, it becomes one solid asteroidal mass that can be as likely hit or miss you. Fortunately, Ape City R&B do take some short breaths (tambourine, organ (?)) amongst it all, and they’re not without their Chuck Berry charms and the Monomen’s burned rubber, “shit-just-got-done” feel. Let’s see if they develop their own personality outside of the constriction of the genre.

 –todd (La-Ti-Da)