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Fight Like Apes - Fight Like Apes & The Mystery Of The Golden Medallion

Fight Like Apes - Fight Like Apes & The Mystery Of The Golden Medallion

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

BY THEIR own admission, Fight Like Apes combine loutish vocals with brutal bass and digital distortion – and they flit between exhilarating and excruciating.

Formed in 2006 from the remnants of various “crap bands”, with an avowed intention to scare audiences with “poppy songs played so obnoxiously that everybody leaves”, they are MayKay (vocals, keyboards), Pockets (keyboards, backing vocals), Tom (bass, backing vocals) and Adrian (drums). (Ed’s note: Pockets is so named for his habit of pocketing his cohorts’ cigarette lighters!).

If 2008 was a hectic year for them (they played over 120 gigs, as well as all the key UK and Irish festivals), then ’09 is shaping up to be even busier. Debut album Fight Like Apes & The Mystery Of The Golden Medallion drops in January and is certain to place them in hot demand.

Based on the singles so far (including the sublime Jake Summers and the recently released Tie Me Up With Jackets), they’re set to become your new favourite obnoxious band very quickly. They have energy in abundance, the ability to get in your face and then charm you… as well as irritating the pants off you at others.

Their penchant seems to be for gentle openings that suddenly explode to life in shouty excess. Jake Summers, for instance, drops a cool bassline, some kooky melodies and some sweet vocals (“bought a present for my guy, a pair of second-hand boots”), before all of a sudden changing pace and coming over all riotous and confrontational, complete with incendiary lyrics such as “hey you, what’s your face… you’re like Kentucky Fried Chicken without the taste… and you’re a fucking disappointment to the human race”). It’s a great, great record.

Likewise, Tie Me Up With Jackets, another song that drops bass, synth-based knob-twiddling and sweet vocals, before declaring “I’d love to see you in the nude” and getting progressively louder. When the band collectively sing about “a lovely noise” over the chorus, you’ll probably be singing along in agreement!

Digifucker, meanwhile, opens amid a flurry of enchanting, even breezy synth loops, before opening up with an almighty guitar riff and more confrontational lyrics. But just when you think they’re all about the one trick, they also drop in a sublime sample (that’s reminiscent of The Avalanches’ Frontier Psychiatrist).

Lend Me Your Face, meanwhile, goes straight for the jugular with shouty vocals, violent images and a dizzying mix of synths and guitars. But it’s about this point that the album threatens to become tiring. Do You Karate? gets lost in its own shouty exuberance, while later tracks such as Lumpy Dough and Recyclable Ass lose their way a little after strong starts – or maybe it’s just that they’re too formulaic at this stage of the album.

That said, you’ve got to admire the five-second blast that is Megameanie, and the audacity of a track that dares to call itself I’m Beginning To Think You Prefer Beverly Hills 90210 To Me, and then charm you in the way that it does. While final track Snore Bore Whore is also good value… resorting to the oft-used but highly effective slow-build towards anarchy.

Like we said, Fight Like Apes are destined to become your favourite obnoxious band for 2009.

Download picks: Jake Summers, Tie Me Up With Jackets, I’m Beginning To Think You Prefer Beverly Hills 90210 To Me, Snore Bore Whore, Digifucker

Track listing:

  1. Something Global
  2. Jake Summers
  3. Tie Me Up With Jackets
  4. Digifucker
  5. Lend Me Your Face
  6. Battlestations
  7. Do You Karate?
  8. Megameanie
  9. I’m Beginning To Thing You Prefer Beverly Hills 90210 To Me
  10. Lumpy Dough
  11. Recyclable Ass
  12. Snore Bore Whore