Ballarat via Melbourne band Apes have just released their single ‘Pull The Trigger’, and in true Apes style, the band has decided to throw an End of Year Party Tour to celebrate their recent successes. Saturday evenings at the Toff in Town are known for showcasing many exciting up and coming artists, with last Saturday the 6th of December being no exception.
Melbourne locals Reptiles were the first band on for the night. Quite simply, they are a band that plays wild rock music, with a swing and style about them that leaves you wanting more with every passing song. Their guitars were loud and distorted while singer Emi’s vocals are abrasive and yet dynamic at the same time. They played through a set of their newest songs as well as old favorites. A crowd favorite on the night was their single ‘Joel’s Retarded’. It’s a song played at a tempo that feels like you a slowly wading out into water, as it draws you in deeper and deeper with note they play. They closed their set the way it began; with high-energy drums, guitars and screaming vocals warming up the crowd one final time for the following act.
As most people in the room returned from replenishing their thirsts at the bar, Brisbane quartet Teen Sensations took to the stage. With their matching white and blue striped shirts, the self-described surf pop band made it clear from the outset they would be highly entertaining and engaging with the audience. Their brand of music nods to artists such as The Beach Boys and Dick Dale; with melodies, harmonies and 60s bubblegum surf-riffage reigning supreme throughout. Lead singer Jerry Sensation (Jeremy Neale of Velociraptor) had an authentic, excited vocal delivery. A surprising highlight from their set came when Neale broke a string on his acoustic guitar and the other three members went into an impromptu jam, as Emi from Reptiles offered Neale the use of her Fender Telecaster for the remaining songs. They played a piece of music that sounded like an action scene from a Tarantino film, unsurprisingly. Neale came back on stage and joined in on the rest of the jam before they concluded their set with the crowd favorite of the night ‘Monster Beach Party’.
By the end of their set the room was nearing capacity as house music began to play while Apes reset the stage. Iggy Pop’s ‘Here Comes Success’ blared across the room as a guitar buzz could be heard from the dimly lit stage. Excitement was in the air.
Then the curtain was drawn, the stage lights flickered once and Apes propelled themselves into the anxiety-filled ‘Napalm’. In synchronization with the strobe lights, the audience sang along with singer Benjamin Dowd “coz I don’t want it, I don’t need to, I won’t ever let it go”. Right from start they felt like battle-hardened group that could easily play all night if there were no curfew. The group played through songs from their 2013 EP Helluva, as well as a collection of great new songs that are yet to be recorded for the public ear.
They then turned their amps up to 11 in their high-energy set as recent single and crowd favorite ‘Pull The Trigger’ was played. The psychedelic sounds from James Toohey’s guitar rang through with Dowd’s vocals to the chorus’ while Sam Reale’s bass playing locked into the cathartic drumming of Rowan Mullett.
Enthusiastic fans rushed to the stage as the group closed their set with the title song from their Helluva EP, ‘Helluva Time’. They had been eagerly dancing in the front row for the previous songs and were ecstatic to let their hair down with the rest of the band.
Apes’ set climaxed as the song came to an end. The crowd dispersed back down to the bar to celebrate with the band what was one hell of a night.