[sic] Magazine

Dead Sea Apes & Adam Stone – Warheads

Almost entirely instrumental Manchester trio Dead Sea Apes have only recently begun experimenting with vocals, relying to date on occasional guest contributions ranging from the unobtrusive to the very evident in the form of Adam Stone. The superbly Manc-accented writer is also a local poet and artist and he is fast becoming Dead Sea Apes’ secret weapon, featuring here on every track of the well-named Warheads after last appearing on 2017’s Sixth Side Of The Pentagon and then again on compilation release Recondite earlier this year. Since forming in 2009, the band have long peddled evocative psychedelic echoes and doomed space-rock but, ever-evolving, their trademark heavy chug and fuzz pedals have faded of late into full dub. It’s refreshing then to have some noise back with Warheads, but with Stone at their back, Dead Sea Apes are an entirely different proposition all round.

Chattering away from mid-distance like a Northern Shaman, he steers the weighty “Reduced To Zero”, for example, from meditative rumbles through to disembodied guitar parts that are reverbed out to infinity, and then on further to feedback-fed, psych-noise fury. To the untrained ear, it may seem an experimental combination yet the contemplative shimmer and splash of the kit reigns in any intrusion of the extreme, but it’s always a losing battle. Going all Threads on us, the apocalyptic “Retreat To Your Bunker” undoubtedly goes deeper still, unspooling tongue-in-cheek yet downright acerbic propaganda while his DSA comrades get their drones on over a see-sawing semi-groove and the result is really quite quite mesmeric. Now locked on, buzzing pulses oscillate in and out of focus on “Broken In Two”, heavyweight guitar crunches failing to hide Stone’s social anxiety as to Britain’s broken status, cosmic scree indicating he’d rather leave the planet than Europe.

The remainder of Warheads, however, is as surprising as it is varied. Unrecognisable as a Dead Sea Apes track, “Inside Of Me” houses a Gothic tenebrousness alongside a punky snarl while the exciting “Doing What You Want” comes on like Magazine and Killing Joke before blowing out like Hawkwind on a massive, theatrical doom-psych downer. Heaviest of all, the bass-fuzz drops like anvils on “Yes No”, Stone delivering a particularly atonal sneer, liquid streams of guitar melting metal and rock alike as part of the assault. It’s one that’ll slay during the live show whereas the unavoidably left-leaning “Power To The People”, which vocally it must be said owes a lot to the one and only John Cooper Clarke, may be best leaving its kosmische ambient moods and textures to realm of artsy stage intros. A powerful new string to the Dead Sea Apes bow, Stone dominates a touch too strongly in places, but this is a deliciously destructive partnership you’ll want to keep tabs on all the same.

Best track: “Yes No”

~Warheads is released October 28th 2018 via Cardinal Fuzz.~