The Apes have stabbed out a nutty little niche somewhere between goth-metal behemoths Iron Butterfly and chameleon-like spoofers Ween. Oddeyesee, the Washington, D.C. quartet's follow-up to its 2001 debut The Fugue in the Fog, recounts a fantastically muddled tale about a quest for a two-headed butterfly whose supernatural perceptive powers could save this imaginary world. Wicked, dude.
But even if you think the disc's plot line is lame, the band's music will hook you. Like a more campy and melodically sophisticated version of fellow D.C. inhabitants Dead Meadow, the Apes rock medieval with bassist Erick "Jackie Magik" Jackson's foggy fugues, while Amanda "Majestic Ape" Kleinman lavishly produces oodles of rococo, sea-green organ tones that would curl the toes of Deep Purple's Jon Lord. Vocalist Paul "Count 101" Weil gives Electric Six's Dick Valentine a run for his wise-ass money, with a melodramatic delivery oozing with Dungeons & Dragons mock (or is it?) sincerity. As psychedelic concept albums go, Oddeyesee isn't as sublime as the Pretty Things' S.F. Sorrow (not much is), but the album does heroically attempt to bring absurd grandiosity to an indie-rock environment, where diminished expectations are the rule.