[sic] Magazine

Dead Sea Apes – Night Lands

We called last year’s Dead Sea Apes album a year-zero for the Manchester psych-rock band, a resetting of the clocks even, for, further distancing itself from early experiments with heavy dub, it both backed away from their new-found explorations with lyrics and chose to split its lengthy run-time between the yin of their more recent destructive distortion and the yang of cosmic ambience.

At it since 2010, Dead Sea Apes are now a four-piece and its this latter-day trippy kosmiche taken from The Free Territory that comes to define Night Lands, an entirely improvised selection of shadowy grooves, the entire side A of which takes the instrumental form of “No Friends But The Mountains”. A shy shimmer of tenebrous guitar tones that slowly finds its feet via hypnotic loops, it begins to flex its muscle a quarter of the way through with smart licks and heavy splashes, an aggressive acid eating away at the mix, the track dropping back however when you might expect the big guns to arrive, ultimately fading out to bask in the glow of solar radiation.

Also saving its most impressive weaponry for another day, the tremulous flip then begins life as a gentle lapping across the fret and the kit, a meditative pulse heralding the falling darkness, gnarly guitar work jamming out across the stars. It seems massive without ever getting out of third gear, an impressive creak of feedback the sound of this juggernaut’s immense turning circle as it heads back for the uncharted territories, job done. Going deep on the reverb and fuzz effects, “A Slow Heart Beats Hard” then meanders hard once more to again bring to mind the endurance rock of someone like Dylan Carlson of Earth. Dead Sea Apes simply haven’t made the same album twice yet and, thrillingly, Night Lands threatens to be only half the puzzle as dawn is, of course, just over the horizon.

~Night Lands is released 14th Feb 2020 via the collaborative efforts of Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube Records.~