14 September 2013
Guano Apes - Don't Give Me Names
Now this is a new one - a request being given to me by Mrs Carter! Well, when she who must be answered asks you do something, better get to it. This is a band that I have known by name for years, but can honest say I know very little about. Formed in 1994 in Hamburg, Germany this is their second album which was released in 2000. Taking a fusion of nu metal, rap and some serious rhymes this was given a lot of attention and received Gold record status within a year. I would love to give more of a back ground but I cannot give much as there is not that much that I can find on their Wikipedia without looking like I just lifted it from the page and that would not be cool. I am sure I have heard these guys at various points, but I also have no real memory of them at all. Just one of these things I guess, but I reckon that it takes all sorts to make the world spin, I'm always interested in hearing music I have never heard before and it is about time I did this one. Not the best start I will admit, but here we go....
Musically this is slap bang in the alternative metal scene and not heavy on the rap metal or nu metal that was around at the time, it does have nu metal undertones such as on "Dödel Up" with its Korn-esque bass lines. Also as standard with releases in this era it has the 80's ironic cover with a version of Alphaville's "Big In Japan" which was used by the band as their first single. I love covers, but the whole 80's cover thing did get a little too big for my liking by the end of that period - this is not one of the strongest covers I have heard, but also not one of the worst. The production job by Wolfgang Stach, Fabio Trentini and the band themselves is very good and even all these years later it sounds very good. I love the vibes and strength of "Heaven" which show cases the band doing a powerful alternative slow number which does not need an acoustic guitar.
There are some things on this album which do not quite work for me; the verses on "Gogan" annoy the living zombie jesus out of me, I don't like that the lead single off this was a cover and I don't like that most articles I did find focused on the fact that this is a female fronted band. That should not be a big deal in any way, shape or form - what it should focus on is that this band are strong, ferocious and quite possibly one of the biggest things to pass me by which I should have paid more attention to. There are some comparisons to Skunk Anansie to go on here, but these guys leave the ballads mostly to the side. Stand out tracks like "Anne Clare", "Live The Lie" and "Ain't Got Time" just show that America was not the market cornered when it comes to devastating alternative metal. This is a good alternative metal album and I am not just saying that to please my wife; I would be honest is I disliked this, but this is a quality album.
7 out of ten - This is good and well worth a check
You can purchase the album from Amazon here
You can visit the Guano Apes website here
You can listen to the album on Spotify here
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