Returning with four new tracks on a new label, Irish alternative/indie rockers Fight Likes Apes show themselves to be a rigorously tantalising and seriously involving encounter. The Whigfield Sextape EP is a riveting slice of noise and melodic conjuration, a healthily thrilling proposition which sets the band further apart from the pack then they already were whilst expanding their creativity with a maturity which has bred even greater potency to their sound. It is fair to say that the Dublin band has already earned a depth of acclaim and support others can only dream of, their two albums being Choice-nominated releases alone, but ahead of their new full-length, Whigfield Sextape suggests that the best is still to come from Fight Like Apes, and soon.
Released via Alcopop! Records, the EP is the successor to the band’s album The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner of 2011. Musically the release seems to be working towards a leaner but fuller concentrated melodic core whilst their ever ready to surprise sonic distortion shows new restraint to its still striking nature. Fight Like Apes absorb before masterfully seducing ears and imagination with the opening track of the EP, swiftly moving on to appetite and passions with the same appetite. Opener Crouching Bees slams firm beats through the ear to start off within a cloudy blaze of electronic melodies which hold an essence of Altered Images to their breath. Mesmeric from the first touch, and increasingly so once the sublime and fiery vocals of MayKay take their sultry grip on the senses, the song grows in strength and stature with every second. A great earthy bass tone adds shadows to the glorious encounter whilst the synths, shaped by Pockets, casts enthralling scenery to the smiling landscape of the track. As mentioned there is a less imposing discord sculpted surface to the sound of the song, melodies and warm climes soaking every note and syllable but that is not to say that musically the band does not challenge and engage with raw ingredients, just that as here they are honed into a new form of bewitching radiance.
The following bwah! Begins with slowly marching beats within a crystalline electronic weave carrying an essence of Siouxsie and the Banshees to it, a feel which was hinted at slightly in its predecessor but more open on the second song. The synths roam majestically around the senses whilst guitars and effects impose their intensive and captivating designs into the psyche. The mix of vocals from both Pockets and then MayKay paint a teasing lure which alone makes the track standout potently whilst musically, as the opener, there is a more than healthy sense of eighties synth/indie pop to the proposition which adds to the flavoursome fusion of melodic elegance and caustic rub.
The Hunk and The Funplace steps up next to steal the EP from the triumphs around it, metronomic beats and the dark faced bass around MayKay’s voice instantly hugging the imagination before the keys escape their cage to blossom a tantalising tapestry of temptation courted by the even grizzlier four string predator. It is the chorus though which sends song and passions into orbit, every aspect of the track unleashing a climactic roar before settling into an almost dainty and thoroughly captivating waltz of desire and charm. Entwining all natures of the song into its subsequent bluster and breezy intent, the song is a mouthwatering envelopment in which you can see where the suggestion that Fight Like Apes is the equivalent to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on this side of the pond is valid; though we would suggest the band has the potential to be even greater.
The EP closes with Tyson, a track which strolls through ears with bold keys alone before vocals colour their drama, MayKay again spawning harmonic hues which simply engage on every level whilst expressively painting the narrative of her words like an artist. Arguably the least striking of the four songs but still an enthralling and invigorating tempting which lingers to leave appetites voraciously hungry for more, it brings the sensational release to an explosive conclusion.
Fight Like Apes have returned stronger, brighter, and more strikingly inventive than ever and that can only be manna for us all.
The Whigfield Sextape EP is available via Alcopop! Records now!
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