Guano Apes

Bel Air

Written by: PP on 05/07/2011 02:35:14

Most of us probably remember Guano Apes from their 1999 smash hit "Open Your Eyes", a track which burst these Germans into mainstream recognition just at the beginning of the nu-metal explosion. The track is pure gold in the rap-rock genre and among the highlights of a genre long dead, and ensured widespread success for the album it was on, selling over 200,000 copies in Germany alone. But as is the case with so many other bands in the genre, the following albums were either boring, generic, or so forgettable that nobody talks about them today, and in the end the band went on an indefinite hiatus. They're back now, however, with their fourth album titled "Bel Air", and like all of their other peers who are still around, they've altered their original formula significantly to keep up with the times.

So what's different? Nearly all shades of the nu-metal and rap-rock have been replaced with an alternative rock sound that's both softer and simultaneously more radio-friendly. They've also inserted a fair amount of electronics and dance beats to the mix in the hopes of playing to all recent trends in the music industry. And on a couple of songs like "Sunday Lover", "Oh What A Night", "When The Ships Arrive" and "Fire In Your Eyes", they actually succeed. The first mentioned is a fast-paced dance rock track with an infectious chorus, the second one features a brilliant angsty chorus that recalls Courtney Love's solo albums, the next one allows one to praise vocalist Sandra Nasic's pipes, and the last example is merely a good pop rock track despite awfully basic instrumentation.

But then come the generic filler songs like "This Time" (which has Juliette Lewis written all over it), the annoying vocal experimentation and distortion of "She's A Killer" that resembles the failed experiment of Spinnerette, and other crap that screams girl power but fails to execute it with the elegance of any Hole record, or the convincing pop-grunge effort by The Pretty Reckless for instance. And as you can tell by the borderline ridiculous amount of links to other artists in this review, what Guano Apes circa 2011 is offering isn't exactly anything original. Sure, it's different to what we are used to hearing from the band, but moving from generic to different kind of generic isn't enough to create renewed interest in the band.


Download: Sunday Lover, Oh What A Night
For the fans of: Spinnerette, The Pretty Reckless, Juliette Lewis
Listen: YouTube

Release date 12.04.2011
Columbia Europe

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