Published on The Deli Philadelphia – Friday, January 27, 2012

If there is one thing to adore about Ape School, it’s Michael Johnson’s unpredictability. In one instant, he’ll throw you moments of poppy synth-psych fuzz that’s made its way through a chunky shoegaze meat grinder. The next, you could be caressed by bittersweet, cloudy ambiance, like on his latest single, “Beneficiary (Don’t Blame Me).” And then he may completely surprise you with a dark, rockin’ set, like the one he played at the recent Union Transfer show with the War on Drugs. On paper, it may seem frantic, but in sonic art form, it’s seriously enjoyable. If nothing else, Ape School is consistent with offering this intensely beautiful haze that’s insidiously captivating. For that reason alone, diehards should be more than excited by his second LP, Junior Violence, slated to drop late spring/early summer. Johnson will preview some tunes from the new album Saturday night at Kung Fu Necktie, where he’ll play with other adored local acts, Norwegian Arms and Nightlands. Expect Norwegian Arms to offer a twisted mix of freak pop, weird folk and alt-Americana, while Nightlands stretches out an empyrean blanket of polished, dream-time soundscapes. You’re welcome. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 8pm, $8 – $10, 21+ (Photo by Q.D. Tran) – Annamarya Scaccia


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