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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Jason Sinay

Ape & The Wall of Questions

Review by Gary Hill

It’s quite a strong album and the blend of sounds feels organic and varied enough to keep the whole thing interesting Jam band sounds along with progressive rock and Americana and even folk are merged on this set. start to finish. All in all, this is cool stuff.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Jack-a-Roe
Acoustic guitar opens this up and then it works out into an energetic jam that is essentially folk rock with some bits of country in the mix. The guitar solo sections on this really make me think of the Grateful Dead a lot. Also, later parts of the piece are more in keeping with that jam band kind of vibe.
The Carney
This comes in tentatively, but then works out to something that seems to combine a jam band vibe with an almost progressive rock texture. Some of that country and folk vibe are still in this, but the cut is elevated in terms of originality and uniqueness. It’s moody and slow, but also very tasty and has a ton of character and charm. At times this piece even has hints of Pink Floyd, particularly on the guitar solo based instrumental sections. That said, the later one of those also brings Dire Straits to mind quite a bit. As that segment takes us into the outro, the guitar soloing gets pretty intense.
Next Revolution
As this cut opens were back more purely in the country meets folk sounds. It gets more folk rock as it continues, but this one stays closer to the folk and country sounds than anything to this point.
Santa Rosa
This is all Americana, perhaps a bit like Tom Petty. It’s more of a rocker and features some more of those southern fried musical elements.
   
I'll Bring You Diamonds
With a definite tip of the hat to the blues, this is more of a rocker and another with a lot of Pink Floyd in the mix. It’s the most “different” tune to this point and also a very cool one. There is some frantic and crazed guitar soloing and some seriously prog-like music towards the end. This is arguably both the strangest tune here and the strongest.
Gimme The Time
More Americana meets jam band in this tune. It’s got a lot of energy and a lot of style, but isn’t one of the big winners here. Surely the Dead are a valid reference here, but only one reference of several on hand.
Love Minus Zero/No Limit
This starts with a mellow balladic section, but later it moves out towards space rock before turning into a cool roots based jam that’s tied to the Dead and space rock.
Hey Mama
Tom Petty meets the Stones and the Dead on this killer rocker. The smoking hot guitar solo is all vintage rock and roll.
   
Bertha
Country and jam band are merged on this little number. It’s arguably the most country oriented piece on the disc, but also has plenty of that Dead jam band vibe.
 
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