REVIEW : Fight Like Apes – Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina TurnerTweet
To say writing this review was possibly as hard as writing that difficult second album for the band, I guess I can relate to the process that would have gone into trying to follow-up such a successful debut album and continue the Fight Like Apes journey which one feels can only end in global stardom such is a magnitude of the members in the band.
For me its hard to even press play on a second album, I’m expecting it to be terrible, to hate it, to think that it’s changed them forever in my mind so much that I now won’t see them live again. This is a band whom in 2009 i saw live 10 times, don’t ask me why, I seem drawn to them, I participated in their recording of Something Global video in Whelan’s, I saw them at the DIT Rag ball and the Trinity Ball as well as other dates around Ireland. To say I had a problem was an understatement, but I genuinely loved the first album and it’s energy and it’s get up and dance vibe from every groove on the CD.
This second album does drop the pace a little bit, It’s not so much trash the dance floor as hit it and enjoy it while your there. It kicks off with probably two of my favourite songs on the album, Come on Lets Talk about our Feelings and Jenny Kelly. Talk about our feelings is a slow start that picks up the pace as it progresses, with the kind backing vocals that I know played live will be amazing as the crowd shouts them back at the band as Mary-Kate orchestrates proceedings, reminding me of ‘I’m Beginning To Think You Prefer Beverly Hills 90210 To Me‘
Jenny Kelly is upbeat from the start and potentially my favourite track on the album at the moment, It’s frenetic, has a catchy chorus you’ll find yourself repeating to yourself as you go about your day. Pull off your Arms and Lets play in your blood takes the pace down a bit, it’s a darker song with lyrics like ‘I can’t keep writing songs about cutting you up’, They’ll have a bit of a job cleaning this up if it’s ever for radio play, but this kind of song is exactly why Fight Like Apes fan love them, they are raw and open and they let this flow through their lyrics, the song has a fast paced finish that will undoubtedly have the pit tearing each other apart.
Hoo Ha Henry was the first song i heard off the new album way back before Oxegen. I like the song, it’s quirky and offbeat, Katmandu again is slower and fits into the dream pop style of a few songs of the last album, finishing with a verse that you just know the FLAPES fans will sing with Mary word for word.
Probably the softest song on the album is ‘Thank God you weren’t Thirsty (Lightbulb)‘, showing FLAPES more vulnerable softer side that only appears now and again, It’s a beautiful song that beautifully matches Mary’s vocals with a slower pace and soft baseline and drums. Occasionally raising the tempo and volume showing (in my opinion) how emotions can hit you in waves. Poached Eggs is a toe tapping head nodding builder of a song and is followed by a fun upbeat crazy Captain A-bomb which will be mega live.
Waking up with Robocop feel a little bland to me but is followed by Indie Monster, which is another song i absolutely love on the album. H+Z5 Together at last, Ice Cream Apple Fuck round-up the album neither songs really rock my world but are not bad songs at all.
So to summarise, at Oxegen this year Jamie from FLAPES told me I would hate this album, Jamie, you were wrong, this album is definitely a progression for the band, I absolutely love at least half of this album. Which for a second album is about half an album more than usual.
It took me nearly two weeks to review this, I had to listen to it over and over to make sure i got a real opinion and not just a fleeting first listen first thoughts. Songs like Jenny Kelly, Come on Lets talk about our Feelings, Katmandu, Captain A-bomb and Indie Monster are going to be great live, and that’s where I really enjoy a band, up close, in person, bopping along in crazy rhythm and time. Whilst I’m giving this album a pretty positive review, I really need to see the new material live to verify my thoughts.
I still think these guys have no pun intended here, Something Global in them, an album that would catapult them beyond mainstream Ireland and UK and firmly establish them as a globally known top class band with a following in every country. Do I think this album will do that, no I don’t, but I’d love to be proven wrong. I think they are capable of huge things and for once with an Irish band, i think they can actually do it. This album is a beautiful progression for the band, it’s not everything that I was expecting, but I still think it’s a very, very good album with some killer track bound for radio over the next year.
Here is a video log they made of the recording of the second album