Review of Fight Like Apes debut album 'Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion'.
It's hard to know where to begin with an album title like this! Dublin's self-professed 'highly motivated couch potatoes' Fight Like Apes, according to their blurb on last.fm: 'trawl through the b-movie underworld in search of the purest of gold.' They seem like they're having fun doing it too; their youthful enthusiasm practically jumps out of the speakers from the first nanosecond of 'Mystery of Golden Medallion.' Under a torrential downpour of pop culture references, the band sound as if they are wrestling with their instruments. Twee keyboards and crunchy guitars jostle for position with the wailings of female vocalist Maykay, and in this respect they are heavily reminiscent of noise-pop purveyors Help! She Can't Swim.
Similarly to the album title, songs such as 'Lend Me Your Face' or 'I'm beginning to think you prefer Beverley Hills 90210 to me' certainly raise an eyebrow, but I'm afraid there's little more positive to remark upon here. This kind of 'chuck everything in and see' approach to music, when pulled off, can work brilliantly. But what ends up happening in this case is that everything runs together into a sticky mess like melted ice cream. The lyrics sometimes stray from playful into cringeworthy; the refrain from 'Digifu**er' being 'Digifu**er? Did you stick things up her?' (Yikes!)
The vocals are often grating and it just generally sounds like too many cooks are spoiling the broth. Fight Like Apes obviously have lot of ideas zooming around but the whole sound is never cohesive enough to take a proper direction. Like all the different things they reference in their lyrics, many of the songs take on an ear-assaulting, loud 'cut and paste' quality. So, Fight Like Apes might be having fun jumping around and shouting but unfortunately their excitement cannot mask the din.
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