Review Summary: David Carradine Is A Bounty Hunter Whos [sic] Robotic Arm Hates Your Crotch
There’s an odd symmetry that exists between the blog world and the real world. It seems, with a few notable exceptions, the more energy music blogs invest in promoting a band, the less the real world actually cares. I mean… haven’t we all walked in to a record shop and been stung by that awkward moment where we can’t decide whether to go straight to “H” or “T” for the Hold Steady record, right? Maybe not. At least we’ve all, at least once, been influenced by that “Recommended By Stereogum” sticker on the front of the latest slice of cutting edge indie rock fare, haven’t we? What sticker? Indeed. Point is: insular communities like the one I refuse to call the blogopshere can give a band an inflated sense of their own popularity. That’s why it’s refreshing to see that, despite having their arses licked clean by just about every Irish blog in, well, Ireland, leftfield electronic pop outfit Fight Like Apes haven’t forsaken their unself-conscious sense of fun and general obliviousness to the surrounding world.
Their debut release How Am I Supposed To Kill You If You Have All The Guns?
was built around a single inspired by Jake Sommers, the backwards chair-sittin’ star of mid-‘90s teen sitcom California Dreams, and apparently a “fucking disappointment to the human race.”
A year and a half on, and only slightly less judgmental, David Carradine Is A Bounty Hunter Whos Robotic Arm Hates Your Crotch
takes aim at Bill (he of Kill…
fame) with the same mixture of reverence and piss-taking, and undercuts its predecessor by a full minute, clocking in at just over eleven minutes long. The four-piece group, fronted by synthesisering/vocalising pair May Kay and Pockets (and completed by bassist Tom and drummer Adrian), create quite a racket for their diminutive numbers. Clearly inspired by Pixies, standout track ‘Canhead’ rests upon a bumbling heavy bassline and an occasionally tuneful call-and-response routine between May and Pockets. The latter does his best Frank Black while May shreds her vocal chords to everybody’s obvious delight, and her own bemusement, as she reacts to the prospect (“Goodness Me!”) of fish and chips.
Though Tom and Adrian perform admirably on each of the four songs, May Kay is the real star in the group, and the interplay between hers and Pockets’ synths the most interesting aspect of David Carradine…
, with Pockets presumably supplying the melodic flavours on top of Kay’s breezy sustained chords. ‘Accidental Wrong Hole’ references ‘80s pop mainstays Zac Attack and Milli Vanilli (better than brown bread, apparently), while lead track ‘Do You Karate?’ is the most urgent of the four tracks on offer, evoking Karen O with liberal use of the word “shit
,” while closing track ‘Snore Bore Whore’ could easily have been taken from the Happy Gilmore
soundtrack. Clocking in almost twice as long as anything else on the EP, it begins with a composite of self-referencing speech samples before morphing into a bass-driven synth-funk track. It’s the most together the band sound at any point on either EP, but Kay still manages to dominate proceedings with another unintelligible performance. Whether Fight Like Apes can manage to hone their instincts across a full-length record, or whether they even want to, remains to be seen, but in 11-12 minute bursts they’re as exciting as anybody on the current indie rock scene, and David Carradine
’s robotic arms hate your crotch for real this time.