Ape Wind

The Columbus Music Scene and Beyond

Browsing Posts published in February, 2013

Feb 22, 2013 – Getting back out there is always fun after quite a long hiatus. It feels right to be back out and writing regularly. Apewind has been a long running dream of mine and I’m glad to get the chance to get it back up and running.

Intervene playing Circus

Intervene playing Circus

Let me start off by saying Circus is not normally the venue one wants to be “heard” in. The sound is usually mixed overpoweringly awkward and recently the vocals in many mixes have been nearly nonexistent. That being said, if one can sound good here, they would pretty much be set anywhere. Generally speaking the sound here is reminiscent of Bernie’s on a good night.

Our band tonight is Intervene, opening the show for Crème de la Femme, a rock and roll, burlesque, and comedy showcase. This show is something worth watching at some point in your life. The band consists of D Johnson on bass, Dan Calvin on drums, and Zel Marquis filling out the guitar and vocals. Johnson from the band described themselves as, “the slacker generation rip offs.”

D Johnson and Dan Calvin of Intervene

D Johnson and Dan Calvin of Intervene

Looking at the guys on stage I wasn’t sure what to expect. Johnson was adorned in a Soundgarden T, and testing his amp with some distorted bass effects, always a pleasant sound to my ears. Then the first song, “Scarlet” kicked off. It started with a very tinny sounding guitar riff that was quickly met with simplistic, yet effective drums. Then filled in nicely with bass. I was blown away at the fullness of their sound. It wasn’t too overbearing. The sound guy got just the right amount of everything in the mix.  Marquis began mumbling some non-descript lyrics; I couldn’t make out a single word of them. Wasn’t sure if it was poor judgment on the sound guys part or intended. These quickly gave way to screamed vocals, which I was not particular on. The entirety of the song seemed to consist of just three chords. These guys were nailing the simple yet effective musical style of the 90s.

Zel Marquis of Intervene playing Circus

Zel Marquis of Intervene playing Circus

The next song felt very much like the first, almost wouldn’t have noticed it was different save for a bass solo in the middle and it was well played. The screaming vocals continued, and I still wasn’t really into them. The next song was a bit of a gem. I was not enjoying the screaming so much and I was very surprised when Marquis began actual singing. I hate to say it, but wow, he should stick to the screaming.

The next few songs went by and I found myself losing interest. Well I was until “Whirlpool” started. This song was their strongest of the whole set. Marquis redeemed his singing, perhaps in the earlier attempt he was just not warmed up enough. The bass was rocking a great distorted tone. The drummer was filling everything else in, and surprisingly with a rather broken down four piece set with only two cymbals. In true 90s grunge rock style the song ended with a total cluster of falling apart sound. I was very pleased with this.

To end the night they finished with cover of Nirvana’s “Aneurysm.” Simply put, it’s not hard to cover Nirvana, but it is hard to cover Nirvana and sound really good. They pulled this off very well. It was very cool to hear this. Overall I’d say they are a worthwhile band to check out when you get a chance. The energy they put forth on stage could be easily felt, and their sound was very full for a three piece.

You can find Intervene on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/midwestgrunge


I’ll take you through this experience with me step by step kids. As I received the package from my senior editor Salvatore and went back to my laptop to unwrap and listen to this as of yet unheard of, at least by me, musical artist.  D Ferren, For Glare and Gun the CD reads… Okay, my first impression on a surface level is that it looks enviably professional. Being in a band my self, I know the top dollar poor musicians have to pay for vacuum sealed packaging like this. Great album artwork. It depicts two marionettes of hispanic decent, male and female, the male holding a pistelero in his little wooden hand. I also noticed after opening the CD up there is a very unique way of showing off the lyrics with a very cool paper insert composition notebook parody.

for_glare_gunNext, I see this cat is from Fort Wayne, Indiana (my sort of hometown.. long story) and the CD was mastered in Chicago, with ten golden hits on it (presumably), open up my disk drive and feed the CD into my computer… click, whirr… spin… and here we go D Ferren, you have my attention…

I must mention one off note here though, I hate when CDs come up in ITunes and they are not titled. Better luck next time kids, so close to perfection, now for the tunes.

First song “Merilee” is a full acoustic rift that brings in some keys, complimented by a slow dragging drum beat and some nice country-esque vocals, not bad, a bit like Wilco maybe? Then some horns come in, which are a nice surprise reminiscent of Van Morrison. All in all, I like it. it reminds me of Beck’s slow stuff, if Beck sang more clearly. Lyrics are so/so… but that’s no big deal… The next song “Two Dollar Bill” continues with the blue grassy, country feel, a nice rolling drum march, some viola, nice flair. So far I can see where this is headed.

You see, with Apewind, we randomly pick who will review each album. We have a limited amount of writers and as opposed to bigger more established critics blogs and magazines, we don’t have a writer set for each genre, so sending your music to us you are at the mercy of whomever decides to listen. In the case of me, I am an indie rock nut. I love me psychedelic dirty garage jams with weird lyrics and spacey solos. In the vein of Tame Impala or Built to Spill.  So as the CD continues on, I found myself losing interest a little bit. One notable acceptation being the dirty rock styles of song 5, “Miles of Consolation,” which reminded me of a Frank Black and the Catholics tunes getting laid by Camper van Beethoven. Not bad, but also not waking me up and getting me ready for the day quite, either. I would say there are some beautiful things on this album, and if you are a big fan of Allison Kraus, or any other sultry southerny type banjo and acoustic songs. This may be for you.

The female singer on some of the later tracks sounds very nice, along with that steel pedal guitar I hear weeping along with her. All in all, I am indifferent about this album. I am ok with its existence, but I feel it may be respected a bit more by a different critic. The production value and the musicianship of the artists on it outweigh the intrigue of the songs a little bit for me. But I am a slave to the eclectic, what can I say? Not everyone can be Ween, though they made a pretty kick-ass country albums as well. Thanks guys! Keep on rocking.

D Ferren’s music and information can be found on reverbnation at: http://www.reverbnation.com/dferren.