» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Drums and Tuba
Mostly Ape
Righteous Babe Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
While originality doesn't usually garner much attention in the super hyped publicity machine of modern music, the New York City trio of Drums & Tuba have managed to garner quite a bit of attention over the past few years, especially when considering their less-than-approachable sound. Frankly, it is pretty refreshing.

Mostly Ape is Drums & Tuba's most concerted effort to date, and the polish the trio has taken on after touring arenas for the past year unleashing their eclectic brand of non-verbal weirdness on tens of thousands of unsuspecting hippies and pink-triangulators is evident. It never ceases to surprise me that Ani DiFranco picked this band up for her Righteous Babe imprint, but it also serves as a reminder that surprises can indeed be pleasant. Mostly Ape needs to reach the masses because the masses are in dire need of this album, the musical equivalent to one of those Sierra Mist commercials. Yeah, its that refreshing!

Mostly Ape expands upon the spatial and downright palatial sounds of past releases like last year's Vinyl Killer by equipping it with more of a low end and even more oddly-matched ethnic tones, especially in the percussion. The twelve tracks of Mostly Ape are all expertly hewn from a patchwork of fabrics, leaving a tapestry of substantial songs with solid structures that are fleshed out with electronic flittering and added layers of guitar. It ends up being surprisingly meaty for a trio that traditionally shies away from the bass guitar.

Picking a favorite from the tracks of Mostly Ape is a bit difficult, because from the opener of "Brain Liaters" to the midpoint of "Elephants" and "Clashing" all the way through the end of "Magoo" there are moments of pop, noise, jazz, electronic, neo-expressionist art rock, dub, hip-hop, brass, funk, reggae, dance, minimalist four-tracking and the Dr. Demento radio hour wrapped up into a potpourri that is pretty hard to translate into text. "Magoo" is the longest track, at nearly six and a half minutes, and it might just be the perfect way to close the album, leaving it fresh in my head for deconstruction and romancing once the silence sets in.

If you're already on the Drums & Tuba bandwagon, Mostly Ape is icing on the cake. If you're not familiar with them but might enjoy the oddities of a catfight between Tortoise and Cornelius broadcast through space and filtered out of a tuba played by a fat orangutan in a tiny green organ grinder's outfit, you're going to get hysterical over this.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth



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