What’s Your Face

Despite some deeply held beliefs, the places albums are released still have an effect on when and where we hear them. This week's example is Fight Like Apes, a group of talented jokers from Dublin.

Apparently this band, Fight Like Apes from Dublin, has been around, recording, and touring Ireland and the UK for a couple years now. As much as we rely on the internet to fill us in on these things, we've only recently heard them and that was largely due to the January 26 UK release of their debut album Fight Like Apes And The Mystery Of The Golden Medallion. The album has yet to be released in the US, however. As much as we need to believe that physical releases don't matter anymore, that all information can simply be transmitted into our skulls from now on . . . well, I raise you one Fight Like Apes, sir.

The band's name and album title may have already given it away, but the last thing they're likely to be accused of is taking themselves too seriously. Even as they tend toward the clownish, though, there is an undeniable strain of professionalism to the proceedings, like on the single "Jake Summers." Combining live instruments and cutesy synthesizers, the song starts innocently enough, the lyrics referring to a boy the narrator seems to have a crush on. Seems like any other power pop song you've heard in recent years, one of the better-crafted that you've heard, too. Then, as if to show off singer Maykay's range, suddenly a high-pitched squeal leads into a cultural-reference-laden, punk rant against the listener. Or the boy. It's hard to tell.

One gets the feeling that this band could easily play it straight, sing the cute, pretty songs that win the sentimental devotion of countless pop music fans, only they choose not to. They choose to be goofy, loud, and fun. They happily thumb their nose at listener expectations.

TMN Editor Erik Bryan is living the dream. He grew up in Florida, but he’s from all over. He likes playing chess, making cocktails, smarting off, and not freezing to death in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. More by Erik Bryan

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