Should’ve Stayed Home - The Yard Apes (Off The Hip)
About that band name: These guys hail from Ballarat in regional Victoria, Australia. Their touring schedule is unlikely to include the USA after they unwittingly named themselves with a derisive term for African Americans. You Yanks may know the term but it's almost unheard of in Australia. The faux pas is a pity because this album is a cracker.
“Should’ve Stayed Home” is a big step up from the debut record, “Devil’s Road”. It’s fuzzier, dirtier, nastier and more in your face. There’s a foot planted in rock and roll’s nursery (that’d be the 1950s) but they’ve taken it to a new sonic level.
That’s fully evident on the roof-lifting quasi-surf instrumental “Buenos Problems Pt II” where globs of fuzz cover the windscreen to the point that it’s a death mission even thinking about taking on Dead Man’s Bend. Singer Brett Dunbar commits some more guitar damage on “Come And Get It (Now)”. The man has a fuzz pedal and he’s not afraid to use it.
Contrastingly, “Love Is A Spider” is radio-friendly pop (if your radio is non-commercial and not bound up in corporate soft-cock playlists.) You could dip into any section of “Should’ve Stayed Home” and find something to sate your fuzz rock appetite. “Bottle of Wine” is a roughed-up ’50s hillbilly rocker that proves apples don’t fall far from the tree of influences.
The Yard Apes are a trio that sound like a full-blown garage rock orchestra at times. They certainly know their way around a studio. Engineer Raul Sanchez even gets a run on keyboards, guitar solo and theremin on the groovy “Dirty Jerk” (a variation on “Take This Job And Shive It”, thematically speaking, and another subversive radio pick.) Lindsay Gravina did a great job with the punchy mastering.
As a garage rock artefact goes this album’s world class and The Yard Apes should be packing their bags and taking it to the world. It wouldn’t hurt to have a chat to Paul Kelly whose Coloured Girls tag fell by the wayside before he had his shot at the big-time offshore.