San Francisco’s Great Apes has been kicking around for a number of years, offering up rough and tumble pop-punk songs the whole time. Though it has always had a sense of humor–the band oncemoonlighted as a reggae-themed Jawbreaker cover band–frontman Brian Moss’ (The Ghost, The Wunder Years, Hanalei) has always kept the band conceptual. On Great Apes’ debut album, Thread, Moss’ lyrics were inspired by conversations with his friends. Now, he’s taking that concept a bit further, and on the band’s upcoming EP on Asian Man Records, Playland At The Beach, he’s telling the stories of San Francisco, the city Great Apes call home.
The A.V. Club is streaming the track that inspired the album’s title, “Whitney’s Playland At The Beach (The Dutch Windmill Of Golden Gate Park Speaks),” which sees Moss and company lament changing times within San Francisco neighborhoods through the destruction of an old windmill. It’s smart, gut-level punk that that’s part history lesson and part power-chord addled aggression, all of which showcases the power of Great Apes.