Fight Like Apes – Self Titled

Fight Like Apes Cover _Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

It has been as good as five years since the release of their second album, though there was a rather satisfying EP in between, so it is fair to say that anticipation for Fight Like Apes’ new encounter across the board has been bursting with hungry excitement. It is a wait now relentlessly rewarded by each of the twelve songs making up the self-titled proposition, offerings taking ears and imagination on a unique and rebellious exploit of indie pop devilry. It really only takes one listen to establish the album as a favourite and barely a couple more to suggest it is going to cast as one of the major triumphs of 2015.

Hailing from Dublin and formed in 2006, Fight Like Apes and their synth pop/alternative rock sound has been luring in keen and potent attention ever since the release of the EPs How Am I Supposed to Kill You When You Have All the Guns? and David Carradine Is a Bounty Hunter Whose Robotic Arm Hates Your Crotch in 2007. The following year saw them nominated for two awards at the 2008 Meteor Irish Music Awards, and it has only been a continuing torrent of support and acclaim since, though equally there have been moments to challenge as with any band. Debut album Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion that same year poked a keener, broader spotlight, attention emulated and pushed to new heights by second full-length The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner in 2010. Their sound and songwriting had already found uniqueness in presence and character which has consistently evolved from release to release, song to song at times, and it is again prevalent upon the new offering. The time between albums two and three saw the band dropped by their record label but they decided to go down the crowd funding route with quick success. This meant that it has been a length wait for their new epic of fun but as hinted at by the Whigfield Sextape EP last year; the band’s return has only brought new seductive and vivaciously eccentric pleasures.

Unleashed through Alcopop! Records, the album quickly has ears and imagination immersed in its pop alchemy through I Am Not a Merry Man. A quaint electronic coaxing jabbed by firm beats initially the song is soon sauntering along with a melodic swagger and lusty bassline, and lit up further by the ever bewitching vocals of Mary-Kate “MayKay” Geraghty. Moments of feistier endeavour also clad the constantly alluring stroll, the song an inescapable flirtation for ears and thoughts with the flowing keys and backing vocals of Jamie “Pockets” Fox just as magnetic as the pulsating rhythms and prime melodic roar of MayKay.

The following Crouching Bees from a single crisp rhythmic rap is soon engulfing ears in an elegant weave of melodies carrying a slight Altered Images air and once more badgered by thickly tempting rhythms. Vocally MayKay again is as potent in casting a mellow seduction or an impassioned raucousness, her heightened delivery a fiery incitement to the calmer waters of the keys, though they too at times provide an off kilter element of their own. The infection of sound and imagination of the album is already enslaving the psyche two songs in and only increases its bait through Pop Itch and The Schillaci Sequence. The first of the pair is a more ‘regular’ canter of indie pop design, though as it is Fight Like Apes there is plenty of sparkling vocal adventure and sonic twists whilst the second sways over the senses with melodic eloquence. It too initially seems a more reserved example of the band’s invention and creative exploration but with an agitated rhythmic shuffle and Devo-esque electro psychosis it soon puts expectations straight.

Fight Like Apes _Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review Both songs keep enjoyment keen and appetite greedy, though everything is soon eclipsed by the brilliant Didya. Easily our favourite proposition on the album, maybe from the band full stop, the song ambles in on a melodic hook which is Weezer like. That alone has lips licked but it is once Pockets takes the vocal lead with a punkish anxiety to his tone that things erupt into genius. The throaty bass and wilder tempered beats are belligerent whilst the voice of MayKay similarly has a challenging edge to it, the blend a spellbinding incitement though it is the vocal bedlam which follows that has these ears and passions are enslaved. It is like a warped mix of The Dancing Did and The Ting Tings, pure creative mania and manna, setting up the listener for a blaze of a finale.

Numbnuts calms things down a touch next, its persuasive croon persistently littered with stirring vocal snaps and musical twists on the way to creating an increasingly fiery climax whilst its successor Pretty Keen on Centrefolds has ears captivated with an eighties synth pop bubbling that nudges thoughts of Blancmange and Soft Cell. Of course things are never that simple, punchy and at times bedlamic beats adding a drama to match that of the vocals whilst keys whip up a contagious tempting for the dance-floor.

Like a mix of Morningwood and Yeah Yeah Yeahs but all Fight Like Apes, The Hunk and The Funplace sculpts another major pinnacle for the album. Rhythmically anthemic and imposing, melodically spicy and slightly nostalgic, the song easily has ears engrossed but it is the roaring chorus which takes a great song to the plateau of brilliance. It is pop at its most dynamic, provocative, and irresistible.

There is no let-up of the thrills and creative spills as firstly I Don’t Want to Have to Mate with You swirls around ears and leads expectations on a merry dance. It is a lively breeze of fascinating textures and rousing calm providing a spellbinding theatre of sound and voice, emulated in its own way by Baywatch Nights with its even slower smoulder, though again there is a snarl to vocal moments, spicy intrigue to keys, and dark shadows to surrounding scenery. Both tracks make riveting listening, a norm across the album to be fair and continued in the excellent Maevis Beacon: Annihilation, a song with more than a whisper of Young Marble Giants to it especially in its opening minute or so. All tracks make a quick and thick first impression but some reveal even more to their depths and beauty over time with this a prime example.

The mesmeric seducing of Carousel brings the release to an emotive and reflective close, and a dramatic one as epic rhythms and brooding melodies rise as the song progresses. Folkish theatre and heavy tribal rhythms break free too in the scintillating end to a sensational encounter. It may have been a while in the making and coming but Fight Like Apes has spent that time crafting their most vigorously inventive and exciting sound yet. This is a must have for all experimental and rousing pop enthusiasts, actually just every pop fan out there.

Fight Like Apes is available via Alcopop! Records from 18th May @

RingMaster 08/05/2015

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Fight Like Apes – Whigfield Sextape

Fight Like Apes

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 10288749_10151972843491353_2388499111256954152_n2011. 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!


RingMaster 12/05/2014

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Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from