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The Floors/Black Birds/Antelope

The Rosemount Hotel, 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Newcomers to the Perth rock scene, Apache, launched their first EP on Saturday night. Formed from the ashes of baby-faced rockers The Tumblers, this five piece came together in late 2012, adding guitarist Jake Chaloner (The Brow Horn Orchestra, James Teague) to their lineup. In this time Apache wasted no time forging an definite style and sound, with the musical maturity of artists who know each other and their instruments.

Channeling New York garage rock vibes, with an occasional kick of swampy blues, Apache’s set was short, sweet, and to the point. Opening with the dirty sounds of heavy rock tune Salem, the boys immediately bring to mind bands like Arctic Monkeys, The Vines, and even some of homespun heroes Tame Impala’s retro psychedelia. A brooding, moody sound quickly became the trademark of the evening, combining hard rock with lyrical vocals that was both angry and melodic.

These vibes continued throughout their set, with songs such as Punch A Hole In The Sun containing the right combination of catchy melodic phrasing and driving guitar riffs. Impressive also was the title track to the EP, Creatures. This is a song with all of the components there: a catchy chorus, driving guitar and bass riffs, and a very solid good old-fashioned rock beat that got the whole crowd up and moving.

Changing the pace with blues-infused jam Wine, lead singer Timothy Gordon twisted and drawled over some very tasty guitar licks. Of all of the songs in the set, Wine gave the boys the stamp of musical authenticity, standing out as a song that did more than just channel the styles of other bands. Moving through the set Apache kept the audience guessing with continual changes in pace, that gave their set a real enjoyable energy: something that even much more established bands struggle with.

Supporting Apache were a number of stellar local bands with a wealth of musical experience between them. Kicking off were instrumental five piece Antelope, followed by hard rock trio Black Birds, whose floating vocal melodies made a really interesting juxtaposition to their otherwise hardened sound. Veterans of the WA music scene, The Floors, were the final support, in a fabulous set of loud and dirty, bluesy swamp rock and roll that threatened to upstage the final act. The Floors’ particular brand of (self-titled) ‘jungle stomp rock’ always gets their crowd worked up, and tonight was no exception.

It is clear that Apache haven’t been around very long, and that they are still building up a bank of songs to fill a show with (about their new song Calcified, singer Gordon admitted ‘we wrote it this week ‘cos we didn’t have enough material’). That said, their sound is much more mature and focused than is usually expected at this stage in a career, with a surety that comes from musicians who obviously know each other. Keep an eye on what these guys can come up with in the future. Top notch.


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