students at R'n'R high school

Ultrasounds (A &M)
Ape Hangers

By Gary Savelson

Shucks! It's the second coming of The Ramones. Ultrasounds, the Ape Hanger's debut on A&M, is rock 'n' roll modeled after the biggest band to come out of Queens, N. Y., in the '70s. The Ape Hangers provide swift rhythms beside hefty guitar chords — offset by idiosyncratic vocals and repetition in song structure and melody.

"More Than Anyone" sounds like the Monkees' "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone," but with more juice. "Oh Yeah" gets some substance from space in the arrangement (a change of pace from full-on rock), a solid bass line and a bluesy groove. The features in this song enhance one's patience to continue listening, but ultimately most of the following cuts are pretty identical. "Red Hot Rocket," the first single, falls more in line with those rad San Diego rockers, Rocket from the Crypt, but it's nothing to write home about. "I Don't Want to Live Today" and "Over My Head" can be considered high points, swaying from the Ape Hanger's recurring style to almost enjoyable pop.

A theory: The Ape Hangers are infatuated with The Ramones and their song entitled "I Wanna Live." Proof: Three songs on Ultrasounds have either the word live or life in them: "I Don't Want to Live," "Reason to Live," and finally "This Is My Life."

Odd, isn't it? The bottom line: There is nothing intriguing about this band. The Ape Hangers were just one out of hundreds of bands like them that got a shot at the majors. Well, for all you struggling rock 'n' rollers out there, let me console you — the only difference between you and the Ape Hangers is that they have a money machine behind them … but for how long?