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jueves, 13 de octubre de 2016

Brother Ape - On The Other Side (2005)


Nuestro cabezón polaco Marek nos deja este disco, de una banda francamente desconcertante, con puntos tan altos como bajos, y como dice una reseña "un disco de rock progresivo para gustarle a quien no le guste el rock progresivo". Con influencias de hard rock setentero, a veces cercanos al sonido pop y con toques de jazz rock, aparecen estos suecos en el blog cabezón. Yo diría que es una banda que le gustaría a cualquier amante de Steely Dan pero mucho más ecléctico y moderno. Y el video es meramente ilustrativo porque ese tema no está en el disco.

Artista: Brother Ape
Álbum: On The Other Side
Año: 2005
Género: Progresivo ecléctico / Prog fusión
Duración: 48:21
Nacionalidad: Suecia


Lista de Temas:
1. The Jerk (5:04)
2. Waiting for the Sandman (4:37)
3. I freak out (4:59)
4. Railways (4:50)
5. Clockworks (5:24)
6. This hour (4:45)
7. Unaccomplished (4:15)
8. Farewell song (4:31)
9. Lucky fool (2:03)
10. On the other side (7:53)

Alineación:
- Stefan Damicolas / lead vocals (3,7), guitars
- Max Bergman / drums, percussion
- Gurra Maxén / bass, keyboards, vocals
- Peter Dahlström / lead vocals, bass, keyboards




Aclaro que las opiniones de este disco y de este grupo pueden ser muy dispares, tan dispar como lo es su música. Personalmente, cuando pongo un disco de ellos sé que algunas canciones insorportables, melosas y poperas, las voy a pasar de alto y me voy a detener en otras que tienen un nivel muy alto.
El siguiente review de este disco lo explica mejor.


Ya cuando inicia con ‘The jerk’ uno no puede dejar de pensar que BROTHER APE es un grupo inspirado en el heavy metal clásico melódico de finales de los ’70/principios de los ’80, pero cuando llega ‘Waiting for the sandman’, con su ritmo de balada melosa, pues el desconcierto es mayor aún. La oportunidad se brinda por ahí de los 2’40” cuando aparecen unos teclados de sonido más cercano al progresivo sinfónico pero el tema termina por desarrollarse de la misma forma que inició. Lerdo. Incluso la voz de Peter es característica de la época y del canto. La cosa empieza a mejorar con ‘I freak out’, debido sobre todo a arreglos más complejos y agradables solos de guitarra y teclados, pero el ritmo sigue siendo francamente setentero y comercial. Con ‘Railways’ los sonidos fresas parecen llegar al extremo y una luz de esperanza se asoma cuando llega ‘Clockworks’, todavía fresón pero más enérgico, rápido y empezando a progresar. ‘This hour’ es otra balada dulce interpretada a voz, guitarra acústica y bajo casi imperceptible. ‘Unaccomplished’ en cambio, marca una fractura por un ritmo muy cargado de energía en una obra más o menos intrincada interpretada a dos teclados, voz y batería. Menos mal. ‘Farewell song’ es el único tema sin líricos del disco, rítmico y de arreglos frescos, donde la voz armoniza un ritmo alegre y optimista. ‘Lucky fool’ es otro tema dulce que se canta sobre guitarra acústica y el momento cumbre llega con ‘On the other side’, con arreglos limpios y sonido acústico impecable, además de sus avances en el desarrollo de la pieza. Resulta un tanto difícil de creer que esta canción haya estado almacenada durante diez años y que vio la luz cuando este álbum fue grabado…
Definitivamente “On the Other Side” es un álbum al extremo de lo que podría esperarse de un grupo de rock progresivo sueco. Su sonido es francamente comercial, sus ejecuciones son limpias y el concepto general del álbum homogéneo. Un disco para gustarle a quien no le guste el rock progresivo.
Alfredo Tapia-Carreto

Se trata de un proyecto ecléctico de tres buenos músicos que aprendieron a lo largo de los años a entenderse y a seguir con su ideal, tocan desde 1980 cuando se conocieron en una escuela de carpintería (dos son carpinteros y el otro es soldador) y su proyecto es independiente y no pretender vivir de la música, que describen como una "extraña bebida que ha sido refinada a través de los años en una mezcla de expresiones". Los tipos tratan de mantener arreglos musicales sencillos y no demasiado largos, y lo que quieren es pasar un buen rato haciendo música y como ellos dicen, "contaminar el aire con su música". Y para ser que su música no tiene muchas pretensiones la verdad es que les sale francamente bárbaro, no me quiero imaginar qué lograrían en caso de tomarse la cosa más en serio.



Si no me equivoco los tipos tienen cuatro discos (al menos esos nos compartió Marek, en realidad no sé si tienen más... hummm... no, tienen 6 discos, bueno, nosotros traeremos los que me parecieron los dos mejores) y si juntamos los mejores tracks de cada disco y descartamos lo que está de más, armaríamos dos discos excelentísimos y un tercero con temas más o menos que sería un buen disco, y el resto de canciones las podriamos deshechar que nadie las va a reclamar.
Ojo, los tipos son muy buenos músicos aunque no sean profesionales, y se llevan maravillosamente bien tocando juntos, no quieren fama ni plata y hacen lo que se les canta el culo. y está bien, nosotros los podemos disfrutar mejor pensando eso, al fin y al cabo es música totalmente independiente, como el arte que más nos gusta a los cabezones.
Vamos con algunos comentarios en inglés, y rescataré todos los videos que pueda si es que encuentro alguno.

It has been mentioned already numerous times on this site, Sweden is certainly at the moment the epicentre of progressive rock, and with the guys of BROTHER APE they have another promising act. Their music keeps the midway between melodic progrock of SAGA and IT BITES, the nervous fragments of ZAPPA, jazz-rock and fusion mixed with AOR, in a nutshell the entire 'palette' has been delivered here on an ingenious and musical-technical perfect way. Don't let you discourage by the jazz influences, it's hardly present. Some people will have to get used to this style, sometimes it becomes even poppy or mainstream, but after several listenings it will grow on you and you will discover always new things.
"The Jerk" was free for download on the official site of the record label and illustrates perfectly the genius of the music of BROTHER APE, melodic progressive rock with enough complexity and a nose for composition, vocally on high standards and musically everything in balance. A track like 'Waiting for the sandman' seemed a bit too quiet in the beginning (maybe also because of the lyrics), but afterwards it has become one of my favourites, a ballad passing in the second part into instrumental CAMEL-esk prog. The heavy rocking 'I freak out' has a very catchy refrain, contains a beautiful guitar solo and is mainly driven by the rhythm section. "Railways" is also very original, a train driving through the landscape is simulated by using brushes on the snare drum. Beautifully sung, supported by bass, subtle keyboards and acoustic guitar are making this song very atmospheric and enjoyable.
Anyway, the entire album has a very nice mood, both musically and lyrically, heart- warming between all the other melancholic albums, that are being released in the circuit these days. Sometimes this album reminds, not by coincidence, at A.C.T. like for example the guitar play on "Clockworks", only BROTHER APE has a bit more to offer thanks to the diversity of the musical pathways, they tend to follow. On the acoustic ballad 'This Hour' it is obvious that singer Peter has listened very well to STYX, it's like you are hearing a 'young' Dennis de Young. After this romantic interlude (it came at the right moment) the speed rises in "Unaccomplished", where you can discover influences of UK, as well on guitar as on keyboards, while "Farewell Song" undoubtedly reminds of YES. A second fully acoustic but very short track introduces the longest one on the album, "On the other side". The beginning is surprisingly a mix of DIRE STRAITS and The POLICE, but after 2 minutes the tone is changing into progressive rock 'pur sang', with references to the seventies and contemporary neo-prog. Besides, you can hear, like in the "Farewell Song", that typical interplay between guitar and vocals, like we used to know from the early days of YES. Furthermore, the production and the artwork are excellent, thus this album is an absolute 'must', you have to give it the time to grow on you.
BROTHER APE is not really a newcomer, they have released some years ago an EP, but Progress Records has re-released it (and added some new tracks). After the promising debut of LIQUID SCARLET the Swedish record label has once again acquired a 'diamant'. I'm very anxious to hear these guys live, hopefully they will find the way to our country.
My rating: 9/10
Claude 'Clayreon' Bosschem

It is really unbelievable that BROTHER APE's roots go back in late 70's-early 80's.The band started as heavy rock act in the vein of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin and suffered from many line-up changes as well as changing styles in this 20-years period.Through the 80's they adapted a more symphonic style in the vein of Genesis/Steve Hackett with long instrumental parts,but entering the 00's they were much attracted by the music of BRAND X and WEATHER REPORT.In 2005 their debut ''On the other side'' was finally released.A modern progressive rock album by experienced musicians,who blend fusion/progressive rock with mellow acoustic playing,catchy melodies and even some AOR-moments.The whole result is absolutely fantastic and original.It is as if BRAND X could ever jam with RUSH or SAGA.The vocals are great,the melodies are memorable and the fusion elements dominate the album.A enjoyable and satisfying release for anyone seeking for something different,unique and not highly complicated!
apps79

What you have here is a nice blend of extremely accessible music that stands as another example of the great music that continues to come from those wonderful Scandinavian countries.
The music is not overly complex but is also no simple three cord rock and roll progression. Also the songs are not some artificial attempt at prog by throwing in excessive mellotron or similar “prog rock” clichés. Just straight ahead prog sounding music in a strong melodic format. You do have the interesting keyboard flashes and some rather tasteful bass guitar work.
Another strong part of this entire CD is the vocal harmonies. Seems these guys have taken a page out of the song book of bands like The Eagles, Spock’s Beard, even some of the Flower Kings. Not that any of their songs “sound” like any of those three bands but you do get some “feel” of those bands.
All in all this is a very good CD. No great musical revelations here but great music to hear none the less.
Daniel Ross

"Here you’ll get a total mix of different styles, played so damn well, it’s beyond me, how a “newcomer”, can contain so much musical talent. The power of the vocals, the incredible guitar- riffs. Keyboards are unique both in the “lead/ solo” and in the back of the mix. Make no mistake, this very keyboard oriented. Drums are put in just right for me. Up front where they should be (heard). Amazing. Bass are (to me) , very important. Here they are played like my heroes would have done it. Fast, beautiful & with lots of power. This is very mature, well composed & arranged prog/ fusion. Brother Ape plays various styles on this there first record. Few bands could have done this. If they did, they would probably fail. But not these gents. They come out just right. Excellent stuff from track one. Almost 50 min. of delightful and enjoyable music. Even the slightly pop-oriented tracks are great, kind a like Ambrosia in the vocals. This will definitely finds its way back to my player many times
Imagine a mix between UK, Weather Report, Yes, with a slice of Saga/ Styx. Then you come up with this unique outfit called Brother Ape. Progress Records could have yet another great thing going with Brother Ape. Comes highly recommended to progheads who search for something new & very unique."
Rating: 5 out of 5 planets
Progplanet

The four musicians mix progressive rock music with fusion. Bands that might have influenced them are Saga, Yes, Rush, ACT, Weather Report and Brand X. The band is at their best during the more uptempo tunes. Good examples are “The jerk”, “Clockworks” and “I freak out”. You can certainly hear Saga in those songs. Yes and Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman & Howe must have influenced the title track. Not everything is fast and electric on the album. Two track are done acoustically; “Lucky fool” and “This hour”. Showing a different side of the band. After the release of this strong album one of the members unfortunately decided to leave the band. This musician (Peter Dahlstrom) did a lot of the lead vocals, bass and keyboard parts. But the other three musicians are capable to play all kinds of instruments. Therefore they could replace Peter’s recordings for the bands next album. An album which should be released at the end of the year. According to the band their best work sofar. Also some older stuff might be released sooner or later. Something to look out for. Until that time I will certainly play this album more often because good prog music needs to be played more often."
Rating: 4 stars of 5
Henri Strik

All in all I found this album to be a very strong debut release. The pleasing blend of styles is something that should help to ensure that this album appeals equally to fans of both progressive and melodic rock. If you favour 70's style progressive music with a modern edge, then this is another band that could give The Flower Kings a run for their money - Worth checking out!
Simon Hill

Great musicians - guitarwork and solos are word class - vocally it's one of the best in the progressive world IMO, if not THE best - and Brother Ape have their very own sound. I never getting tired listening to this amazing album. 4/5 stars!
ProgBrainer

Their music keeps the midway between melodic progrock of Saga and It Bites, the nervous fragments of Zappa, jazz-rock and fusion mixed with AOR, in a nutshell the entire ‘palette’ has been delivered here on an ingenious and musical-technical perfect way. Don't let you discourage by the jazz influences, it's hardly present. "The Jerk" was free for download on the official site of the record label and illustrates perfectly the genius of the music of Brother Ape, melodic progressive rock with enough complexity and a nose for composition, vocally on high standards and musically everything in balance. Anyway, the entire album has a very nice mood, both musically and lyrically, heart-warming between all the other melancholic albums, that are being released in the circuit these days. Sometimes this album reminds, not by coincidence, of A.C.T. like for example the guitar play on "Clockworks", only Brother Ape has a bit more to offer thanks to the diversity of the musical pathways, they tend to follow. The speed rises in "Unaccomplished", where you can discover influences of UK, as well on guitar as on keyboards, while "Farewell Song" undoubtedly reminds of Yes. A second fully acoustic but very short track introduces the longest one on the album, "On the other side". The beginning is surprisingly a mix of Dire Straits and The Police, but after 2 minutes the tone is changing into progressive rock ‘pur sang’, with references to the seventies and contemporary neo-prog. Furthermore, the production and the artwork are excellent, thus this album is an absolute 'must', you have to give it the time to grow on you.
Rating: 9/10
Prog-Nose

A very fresh and also direct album, which I find very pleasing. Brother Ape knows how use a broad range of styles and, in a skillful way, turn it in to something of their own. It is not neo, it is not too complex, and also not too commercial. It's the perfect mix. An awesome album!! A must have."
Rating: 5/5
Daniel Eggenberger

Already from the very first seconds I knew I was in for a real treat here. "The jerk" combines both typical progressive highlights as well as a very melodic approach as if Saga were to merge with Karmakanic. It sounds fresh, with the right amount of complexity, a well balanced sound and creativity as well as skill delivered all over this album. One of the trademarks of this band is that they tackle all kinds of influences and genres in order to mould them into the Brother Ape sound. During "I freak out" the instrumental section leans towards early Brand X with an emphasis on the guitar. Acoustic guitar forms the focal point during the peaceful "This hour" nicely blending with vocal harmonies resulting in kind of a fragile lullaby. More vocal acrobatics during "Farewell song" which embraces hazes of Yes' "Nous sommes du soleil". This superb album closes with the longest and most incredible track "On the other side" yet again reaching for a perfect blend of seventies American rock with a dash of contemporary prog. I hear elements of Saga, Yes and even Return to Forever genius and Weather Report darkness. Long may the ape reign! Brother Ape has clearly signed for musical Apex!
John 'Bobo' Bollenberg

I can really recommend this CD to the progrockfans, but even the odd pomprockfan might actually like this band a lot. (Points: 8.6 out of 10)
Strutter Magazine

The real highlight is the title track 'On the other side' which brings together some wonderful melodies and crescendos that are blended beautifully together throughout. As you listen to this CD one gets the distinct feel it has a definite American edge to the sound, so those familiar with bands like 4Front or Saga wouldn't be disappointed. On the other hand, there are distinct European melodies that place Brother Ape up there with the likes of Leviathan (Italy) or ACT (from Sweden). Most interesting are the vocals, which interact well especially on 'Accomplished' (Yes influenced here?) and it has to be said this has significant effect on the CD. Brother Ape overall have delivered a very good debut.
Peter Beaman

The latest discovery of Progress records label is a swedish band called Brother Ape featuring Stefan Damicolas (vocals/guitar), Max Bergman (drums), Gurra Maxen (bass/keyboards) and Peter Dahlstrom (vocals/bass/keyboards). There's really a lot of interesting stuff here: "The Jerk", "I Freak Out" and "Clockworks" are commercial but not easy songs due to a beautiful guitar and drums work. "Unaccomplished" and the title-track will appeal to all the symphonic prog fans, being more complex and so close to Saga and Rush stuff. Well, "On The Other Side" is so much a pleasant work that I have listened to it many times during the last weeks. I think you'll do the same if you buy it. Recommended."
RATING: 80/100
Luca Alberici

With their harmonious boldnesses, sophisticated fantasies and sharp profiles does not leave more to wish for. For all fans with awake ears!
V.M.

Espero que alguien me diga que le parece...

www.brotherape.com



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