Fight Like Apes
...And The Mystery Of The Golden Medallion


4.0
excellent

Review

by plane EMERITUS
September 23rd, 2008 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A brand new scent for modern man invented by cartoons.

When one of Sputnikmusic’s own esteemed critics praised Fight Like Apes’ EP, David Carradine is a Bounty Hunter Whos Robotic Arm Hates Your Crotch, he noted the band’s “unself-conscious sense of fun and general obliviousness to the surrounding world.” It doesn’t take long for the Irish four-piece Fight Like Apes’ full-length debut, Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion, to shirk the claim. So goes album opener “Something Global”: “Magazines are so over-rated / And then try to tell you, try to sell you / What's new and what's now obsolete / And they like their garish friends / they like those indie gems.” Better yet, “Something Global,” dressed in over stylized electronics and operatic crescendos, stands as The Golden Medallion’s most straightforward track, turning May Kay’s cries of conformity into glistening choruses. If it feels trendy, that’s because it is. Now, what’s that about “unself-conscious”"

The Golden Medallion, fortunately and very surprisingly, works even better with the band’s newfound awareness, still free of pretensions and always unbelievably fun. Gone is the muddled production, the textures that pulled May Kay kicking and screaming into the mix, and in its place is a crisper and cleaner sound (one I've lovingly dubbed "electro-punk") that didn’t lose its edge in transition. Tracks left over from the band’s previous EPs become stronger cuts, like Carradine-highlight “Do You Karate"”, highlighting what ultimately becomes The Golden Medallion’s greatest strength: May Kay. Placed front and center, May Kay’s non sequiturs take on an unexpected depth and urgency. On “Jake Summers,” a track named after the California Dreams star, her full-blown pre-chorus sounds like a girl taking her aggression out on everyone but the person responsible: “Hey you / what’s your face / I got a pocket full of fists / you got a stupid face.”

The Golden Medallion will “click” better for those that can find bits of themselves between the lines, but Fight Like Apes have crafted a fine pop album in their own right. The album still remains abrasive; prone to harsh blasts from drummer Adrian or speaker shaking cries from “synthesizing/vocalizing pair” May Kay and Pockets. “Tie Me Up With Jackets” moves slowly from bass-driven balladry to a fervent march, punctuated by diary quotations (“’I don’t do simple, kid’”). When “Digifuucker” turns from vulgar nursery rhyme into a rather disquieting piano interlude, a well-placed sample creates a tension that is playfully obliterated by the pop-punk “Lend Me Your Face.” When in “Battlestations” the sample ominously positions an attack on a town and the deaths that followed, May Kay replies with an echo of criticism tossed around by the escalating synths: “The sample sounds like shit / and I don’t want to hear it again.”

The Golden Medallion makes it as far as “Lumpy Dough” before stumbling, though its impression is minimal. Sitting just shy of a post-hardcore label, “Lumpy Dough” sparks only when the out-of-her-element May Kay gets out of the way to let the instruments let loose. Otherwise, the song’s self-seriousness undermines what is otherwise a fun, humorous ride, a statement most evident in “I'm Beginning To Think You Prefer Beverly Hills 90210 To Me,” though the surprise is best left unrevealed (hint: Mother Goose). Even the album’s closing moments suggest Fight Like Apes are touching their boundaries, “Snore Bore Whore” exploding from what appears to be the band’s version of a ballad into a sample-laden freak-out. Fight Like Apes might not be pushing those boundaries, but let them catch their breath.



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user ratings (36)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Knott- EMERITUS (4.5)
GIVE ME MY HOOK!...



Comments:Add a Comment 
plane
Emeritus
September 23rd 2008


7239 Comments


This took me sooooo loooooong to write and I oversell it a bit but lol pop right?

Doppelganger
September 23rd 2008


3124 Comments


dammit now I need this too

SnackaryBinx
September 23rd 2008


2309 Comments


this sounds mighty interesting.

plane
Emeritus
September 23rd 2008


7239 Comments


stream http://entertainment.ie/fightlikeapes/

SnackaryBinx
September 23rd 2008


2309 Comments


to be quite honest I like this a lot. It's all poppy and catchy and stuff. I needed to listen to something like this today.

plane
Emeritus
September 23rd 2008


7239 Comments


Your anger is unjustified.

204409
Emeritus
September 23rd 2008


3998 Comments


I listened to the myspace stream and the album would go from charming to annoying on any given moment of any given track. The lyrics are pretty atrocious.

joshuatree
Emeritus
September 23rd 2008


3741 Comments


This sounds terribleThis Message Edited On 09.23.08

flamethisuser
September 23rd 2008


395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but its not?

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
September 28th 2008


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Enjoying this a lot, they put on a great live act too.

plane
Emeritus
October 1st 2008


7239 Comments


Ah, I could imagine that. Where did you see them?

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
October 1st 2008


4948 Comments


reminds me of Los Campesinos! as far as energy is concerned, and to be honest I'd rather listen to them

plane
Emeritus
October 1st 2008


7239 Comments


I like Los Campesinos! more, individual songs I think are awesome, but The Golden Medallion is a better album.

natey
October 18th 2008


4190 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Starts out well enough but it's wearing on meThis Message Edited On 10.18.08

natey
October 18th 2008


4190 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'm not going to defend the # of times I listen to albums, but I was referring to the album's long term effect. I find it catchy but the lyrics and stuff have gotten sourer with repeated listens.

plane
Emeritus
October 18th 2008


7239 Comments


ur not high enuff

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
October 26th 2008


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ah, I could imagine that. Where did you see them?




Yeah, it was Reading, and I'm seeing them in a couple hours at Southampton aswell, nice friends. Gonna be great.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
January 26th 2009


3912 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey this is heaps fun

Digging: Ghostface Killah - The Lost Tapes

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
January 27th 2009


870 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm Beginning To Think... was playing at my student union last night. This is undoubtedly an omen that I will hit it off with Maykay when I see the band in Southampton in a few weeks.

Gazzmatazz
January 27th 2009


22 Comments


These guys are being heavily championed by the Irish press. Methinks every Irish journalist is hoping to see these guys become the next big thing and they can be the one who 'discovered' them, just like when U2 got big. Hehe.



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