Apes Ghost Games

Opening with a promising grind of twitchy, demented carnival keys bashing against sinister industrial guitar lines, Ghost Games ends up hovering like a lobotomised spectre, unsure of its purpose beyond haunting. A ghostly array of atmospheric sounds is among the album’s strongest elements, but the songs too often get mired in the soundscapes and the production becomes more of a crutch than a garnish. The band borrow melodies almost shamelessly — check out the keyboard part in "Which Witch Wuz,” the Violent Femmes should be honoured, or annoyed. It’s from here the album deteriorates in quality. The blatant Flaming Lips riffing on "Walk Thru Walls” is forgivable because it’s still fun but by the time the Apes resort to amateurishly aping Sabbath and King Crimson on "Green Grease,” the album never recovers. And sadly, the Apes, with key-skirting new singer Breck Brunson in tow, seem to have the best of intentions; they just lack the ability to successfully execute them.