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“Tornado” by Gorilla Apocalypse

Stacked together but far more delicate in tone than anything else, the vocal element in the new single “Tornado” by Gorilla Apocalypse is intoxicating from the get-go, and a crisp production quality is only part of the reason why. Rather than mixing this track around its stately groove, Gorilla Apocalypse is keeping “Tornado” quite melody-centric in style, and I would even say that they manage to make the verses in this track all the more vivid because of it. There’s a boldness to the arrangement here that immediately grabbed my attention as a listener, and as a critic, the structure is something I can’t source from anywhere but this song alone.

Everything on the backend of the track centers on this beat, but without the formidable strength of the lead singer, I don’t know that the percussion would have the swaggering presence it does in the grander scheme of things. There’s no decrying “Tornado” as being centered on a danceable groove exclusively; in all honesty, I think the hypnotic sway of the percussion is a lot more entrancing than it is movement-inducing, which isn’t to say that you can’t synchronize your hips to the drums in this track and have quite the endearing experience.

This bassline doesn’t allow for nearly as much physicality as there could have been in this performance, and I would even go so far as to say that had any of this crew’s peers been in charge of “Tornado,” there would have been a lot more excess behind the pushiness of the drums. Between the percussive punch and the vocal depth, there isn’t much that Gorilla Apocalypse need to get the most out of the natural oomph in this piece, and I respect their decision to keep things on the efficient side as opposed to going more indulgent in general.

There’s no getting away from the mainstream appeal in this hook, but I don’t get the impression from “Tornado” as a whole that Gorilla Apocalypse was aiming for the FM dial when they decided to record this song. Indeed, there’s no debating the lustiness of the groove in this track, but it’s presented beside such a precise attack that I don’t feel like the radio market was all they were thinking about. There’s too much of an intellectual bend to this piece for that to be the case, which isn’t to say they won’t benefit from its accessibility down the line.

Born of a straightforward concept, execution is as important as it gets in a single like this one, and I think Gorilla Apocalypse knew this long before they ever decided to record “Tornado.” These musicians are well aware of the power they’re wielding with the harmonies in this release, and with just a bit more time to refine some of the rougher edges they’ve worked into the big picture here, I haven’t any doubts we’ll be seeing their moniker in the headlines a lot more often in the months and years ahead. Pop needs attitude, and this is a group packing plenty of it.

Mindy McCall



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