Boston is lucky to have an artist like Dug McCormack. From Psychic Dog to BALUCHITHERIUM and more, he presents different facets of Boston Rawk. As a songwriter he’s explored a diverse variety of genres that merges the RAWK with fusion, jazz elements even and an all around experimental style wrapped in a cushy rawk and/or roll package for the people. And as a vocalist, McCormack continues that diverse trend with a style that constantly evolves and adapts which brings us to his latest project, Square Ape, and the brand new EP that just saw the light of day thanks to pent up creativity while stuck in the house (Thanks, pandemic?)
But I digress!
When starting this review initially, I had just come from a binge of Karma To Burn recordings and while Square Ape isn’t trying to be your Desert Rawk fix, they certainly do a fantastic job sonically of conveying that vibe throughout these eight tunes.
The most straightforward and loudest of McCormack’s collective works, Square Ape sound like early The White Stripes (White Blood Cells-era) and something Josh Homme concocted between the dissolution of Kyuss and the first recorded works of Queens of the Stone Age. Add some sonic gloss a la Death From Above 1979’s aesthetic and you have a recipe for some loud sounding greatness.
“Interlude” is a revelation akin to a hymnal with an organ hum and a singular guitar line before the raucously fuzzed out Rawk incarnate of “Abbreviate” begins. “Why Us” is a fitting anthem of the times with McCormack crying out “Why us/Why here/Why now” as his fiery guitar lines echo out and John McKusick’s bass provides a rumbling counterpoint to the driven piano accents.
“Certain Things” is a jam and a half, fueled by McKusick’s reverberations and drummer Kevin Kupilla’s laid back and loose fills. “Interlude 2” has a feel like some of those Morphine experimental ditties mixed with Kyuss’ penchant for jamsssss while “tulips” is the epitome of cool, capturing the vibe of that Mark Sandman-led trio yet again with McCormack’s delivery as the McKusick and Kupilla’s rhythmic merger strikes a perfect balance.
Wrapping it all up, “We Are Light” is hypnotic with its’ message as McCormack shreds and the din from McKusick and Kupilla’s instruments ends the mini album in an appropriately clamorous fashion.
process is out now! And you can get your own copy by clicking right here right now! For the latest on Square Ape and the comings and goings of Dug McCormack then follow the trail of socials by clicking here, here, or here.