As they say, you only get one debut album, so when Ballarat’s APES went about theirs, they took their time. Since winning the 2013 Big Day Out Unearthed slot for Melbourne, they have released their debut EP, Helluva, which, as Benjamin Dowd told us, was described as “meat and ‘tatters rock”.

The direction for this album must have hit a fork in the road at some point, and the road travelled appears to be the better one. In the four years of writing for this album, a sense of maturity and texture has made its way into APES’ music. If You Want It is a Foals-esque track with falsetto vocals and glistening guitar.

The opening track, Pull The Trigger, is representative of an album that knows when to slow down a little and utilise dynamics and texture. There’s a Temper Trap feel to some of these songs, with an almost anthemic quality, particularly in Fourth Point.

Tomb pushes this out a little more with a purposeful beat and airy vocals. This doesn’t mean they’ve lost their spuddy rock though. Dimension brings it back to a classic ’70s rock sound, with soaring guitar and screeching vocal.

It Is What It Is wraps the album impressively into a seven-minute epic, exhibiting just how far this band have come and are looking to go. A luscious debut from a band looking to break free of their meat and potatoes.

4/5

APES – Stranger Than Strangers

Released: 19 May, 2017 via MGM Distribution