Brother Ape are a three-piece from Sweden consisting of Stefan Damicolas (vocals, guitars), Max Bergman (drums, percussion) and Gurra Maxén (bass, keyboards, vocals). The band started in 2005, although all three musicians already established a band in the eighties called Little Orchestra. Force Majeure is Brother Ape's sixth album.
With this album the band continue to develop a sound they've been working on for the past eight years, though the musical style of Brother Ape is difficult to pigeonhole. It's a varied kind of prog covering melodic jazzy songs, a more symphonic rock sound and I also noticed electro pop and a lot of other pop music. The groovy and funky drums seem to get lost on this record, but strangely enough they fit in extremely well. The music is well-layered containing lots of catchy hooks; the polyphonic vocals are very nice, the whole atmosphere is mellow and friendly. The playing time of the ten tracks is shorter than on their previous CDs, which makes this one easier to listen to. After a while the following bands crossed my mind: A-ha and Yes with a small twist of Pain Of Salvation. Indeed, a rather strange blend but it works. Both production and artwork are well cared for. The CD sounds open and transparent; check out the CD-booklet as well!
Brother Ape's sixth album isn't a brilliant one, but it's neither bad at all. Force Majeure is not their best CD to date but neither their worst; it rests somewhere in the middle. By the way, is pop-prog a new term?
*** Gert Bruins (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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