Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Fight Like Apes – Something Global

Because hell, we liked them so much last time…


Matt Cibula: My high school self would have been perfectly happy to learn that this was the future of music: new wave but kind of insane, robotic but still poppy, buzzes of unknown origin, black-tressed ladies ranting madly, etc. His favorite drink was Mountain Dew, and now they have it again but it’s called Mountain Dew Throwback, and this song has something to do with that but I’m not sure what.

Doug Robertson: More fun than a barrel of Monkees.

Alex Macpherson: Placebo, if Brian Molko had actually been a girl.

Edward Okulicz: AMAZING! Sounds just like their last single with all the things I didn’t like removed, and made just a bit longer. And the lyrics are fantastic – “hooks are wimps and choruses for gays”, and boy do they know a big hook and a catchy chorus when they write one. Essentially, an endlessly quotable stream of chugging snarky bliss – perhaps less dynamically striking than “Tie Me Up With Jackets” but none the worse for that.

Martin Kavka: This isn’t quite as good as “Tie Me Up With Jackets,” but it has that same combination of vague lyrics and an energy that defeats all those who try to stop it. Bonus point for the equation of “real” with “something music kids might steal,” although I can’t decide whether linking value and unpaid labor through thievability is either the most brilliant or most stupid take on Marx’s account of surplus value.

Iain Mew: Shows off all the big shiny synth hooks, unpredictable vocal yelps and thrilling noise that make Fight Like Apes’ album such an exciting listen. Also features all the worst excesses of their lyrics in one irritating package – ironic offensiveness (“choruses for gays”), obstructive meta that tries to make you think about what they’re doing rather than just enjoying it, and lines that just clearly needed another redraft (“a look for all the boys to drool”?). Worst possible single choice.

Chuck Eddy: Tuneful speedy nerd-rock with no audible rhythm section unless the stiff keyb doot-doots at the start counts. Plus lots and lots of words, some of which might even be worth paying attention to sometime. Not that there’s much in the singer’s delivery to assist that. But she sounds sassy anyway, and it’s sort of cute when she yelps. And yeah, I expect some boys do drool at her.

Dave Moore: Not as nostalgic as “Tie Me Up with Jackets,” just generic power-chord chug, and the lyrics are still awful — it’s like she just writes individual lines on index cards, shuffles them, and then sings what comes out. Also, if you’re going to condescend to sing “give me my hook” like you resent needing to write one at all, you should probably at least take the time to write a good one.

Jonathan Bradley: Fight Like Apes burst with an adolescent sentiment too often underconsidered by pop music; their conception of teenagehood is one of impassioned exuberance rather than overwrought angst. I’m never one to argue against angst — why ask pop musicians to abandon an emotion they’re so practiced at portraying? — but it’s nice for a band to realize that high school isn’t all tantrums and heartbreak. “Give me my hook!” is an excellent manifesto anyway, but when it’s shouted over buoyant power chords and buzzy keyboard riffs, it manages to collapse the thrilling vitality of living only in the present down to four gleeful minutes.

Michaelangelo Matos: It’s funny: I’m as big a proponent of pick-your-favorite-track as anyone, but when something is announced as a single, that’s what I want to hear, and the minute-or-so feedback overture to this 3:51 recording made me a little mad, even after a couple iterations of “Give me my hook!” alerted me that the intro was one of that line’s many payoffs. But when the payoff is as not-overwhelming as this one (in that iteration, for starters), I reserve the right to stay annoyed.

Ian Mathers: “Give me my hook” is a tremendously evocative phrase to use for a refrain, both for intent as a statement of intent (they don’t want to be indie they want to be, well, “something global”) and for the (unintended?) image it puts in my mind of the singer attacking someone with a big fuck-off hook. But maybe that’s just because Fight Likes Apes’ hardcore dude starts yelling it with her. But I don’t mind him, because unlike at least half of their album, here the band has found their hook and it’s glorious. Ambition is always more inspiring than capitulation.

Hillary Brown: What is it this band has? Subliminal messages hidden in the chaos? So far I start out not liking everything, then five or ten listens on it’s thoroughly wrapped up in my head and I’m humming it in the shower. This isn’t quite “Tie Me Up With Jackets,” but it’s comparable.

Additional Scores

Anthony Easton: [5]
Alex Ostroff: [8]
Martin Skidmore: [8]

One Response to “Fight Like Apes – Something Global”

  1. I see that one of their album tracks is called “I’m Beginning To Think You Prefer Beverley Hills 90210 To Me”. I prefer GHOST WHISPERER to these people and although I like Ghost Whisperer I still know it’s shit really. Unlike Hollyoaks which is always awesome apart from when Bryan Kirkwood isn’t directing it (look, you’ll have to trust me on this one). The words I am saying MAKE SENSE. THEY DO.