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.
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.