Tag Archives: Fight Like Apes

Third birthday.

September 30th 2007, the first post ever made on this blog went up. It was gaudy blogspot, and I hadn’t even started writing in any serious capacity for anyone yet, so I literally had no idea what I was doing. After that, I vaguely figured out what I was doing, a couple of people started to read it, I started to read lots of other blogs, I got writing for various people, I started doing interviews, I stopped doing interviews for a while cos they were getting repetitive, someone interviewed me for a master’s thesis, and now I’m here.

There is no better reason to start a music blog than to organise the thoughts that come into and then fly out of your head on the bus home after gigs.

So that is my mission statement.

And I’m starting with the most notable extravaganza this weekend (no disrespect to other extravaganzas), Hard Working Class Heroes. Not only is HWCH a chance to see good bands from both home and away play relatively close together long after the festival tents have been sent to storage, it is also an opportunity to pretend we have all been supporting the scene all along.

So I will admit to begin with that the ratio of Irish bands:touring bands that I’ve seen in the last year has been fairly woeful. My quota of Irish indie has mostly derived from in-stores, support slots and MySpace and I think it’s because while I would love to spend twelve euro to see Ham Sandwich play Whelans, it strikes me as more urgent to spend the twelve euro on Andrew Bird or Animal Collective because they don’t live here and I’d feel more like I was missing out.

The exception are The Immediate, whom we still mourn in these parts, but that’s another story.

So I’m a shit. But anyway, that’s partly why I popped by. I got my mind open for some new music, and got my singing voice and pointing finger out for moral support for the few bands I do follow. It’s only 2/3 done as I write this but I’m having fun. I’d recommend it. Here are some reviews.

Obviously nowadays my ratio of Irish bands:touring bands is way above 1:1. And I still mourn the passing of the Immediate. I don’t point my finger though, any more. But the mission statement remains the same, which is potentially why the amount of readers plummets every time I stop actually posting real content and just muse about stuff for a significant period. But if you were never on, you can’t fall off, so fuck it.

Those Geese isn’t a venerable five like MP3Hugger is today, but I might fall into the Liffey before I get that far so I thought I might as well post this now. Thanks for the 95,000+ clicks, and to any bands who answered questions or played gigs I was at, and also obviously thanks to Fight Like Apes for the name and the excellent gig that started the whole thing.

Fight Like Apes – Jake Summers (EP versh)

Hangin' out with modernist art. Credit to Seán Keenan for the mp3 of JS on short notice.

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TDOM Day 25: A Song That Makes You Laugh

Fight Like Apes – Jake Summers

I’ve probably spent a slightly longer time than the average citizen thinking about what the narrative of Jake Summers actually says, but I still can’t really think about it without finding it funny.

She buys him a present of white secondhand boots. They are not pink, though it is unclear who is claiming that they are pink. They look nice. He wears them to play with geese, who have no idea what’s going on, because they’re obviously geese.

Then it takes off in another direction. A delightful piece of Fiery Furnaces-esque oddness up till then though. I’d get the EP version for you but it’s upstairs so make do.

Spending tea-time with Fran Drescher.

Been nearly a year since I’ve posted anything about blog name progenitors Fight Like Apes so I’ll break the “don’t post stuff that could go on Twitter” guideline and throw this up.

It’s Knucklehead, the song that stood beside Something Global being better as the B-side of the single released in the Week of the Unnecessary Fight Like Apes-related Spazz Fit right before the album came out in 2008. It’s probably my favourite Fight Like Apes song, and the video has a choir of rock monsters, so get to it.

Mercury Maybes

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The blogosphere is ablaze today with speculation on the shortlist for the Mercury Prize. Nialler9 has some ruminations up, taking into account the apparently automatic annual folk and urban nominations, and culminating in a ballsy prediction of a final twelve.

Some other blogs, such as Clash Music and The Line of Best Fit have also had a go as part of some sort of loosely organised BBC scheme. I got very interested, and for once, I think I’ve heard enough UK/IRE music to come up with a my own list. So I’m going to have a go as well.

Continue reading

Fighting in the Apes

Live Concert Video – Fight Like Apes

What, you mean you’ve never seen a full Fight Like Apes gig?!

Well here’s one in Holland to a crowd who clearly have no idea what the hell is going on.

Nothing provokes the nationalist feeling like a nice Lilywhite accent billowing off a stage towards Dutch people.

The Year. 15-11.

15. Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion
Model Citizen
A disclaimer: I know the production is dodgy. I know Something Global sounds bizarrely like Avril Lavigne. I know all that. It took me a month to get over minor differences in inflection on the songs that were on the EP. But I got there in the end. And as a collection of songs, it’d be remiss of me to leave this out just because it wasn’t the album to put Dublin on the world indie map. So many of these songs are undeniable. Lend Me Your Face, Jake Summers and Do You Karate are all the pulse-raising clumps of alternapop they were last year. But it’s heartening to note that the rookie Digifucker is, in all its abstraction, dejection and aggression, probably the album highlight. And Tie Me Up With Jackets, the lyrical high point of the Apes so far, wraps up a Side A that could fight almost anything and win. The second half is patchier, but that’s forgivable. Hot Press insanely said that it was the best thing in the world in 2008. It’s not, but it’s a remarkable display of off-kilter songwriting ability, and I have a feeling it will still stand on its feet in ten or twenty years because of it. Now, who has Steve Albini’s phone number?
MySpace, or if you’re interested, this is a blog named after a line from Jake Summers.

14. Roots Manuva – Slime and Reason
Big DadaHaving watched Dizzee Rascal and Estelle zoom past him to worldwide audiences and financial reward with half the lyrical talent,‭ ‬it would be easy to forgive Rodney Smith some bitterness.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬Slime and Reason’s opening line,‭ “‬A lot of people don’t know about Smith‭”‬,‭ ‬seems more like a simple statement of fact than a complaint.‭ ‬This album doesn’t acknowledge anything in its surroundings.‭ ‬Rather,‭ ‬it is the newest chapter in an isolated musical portrait of the artist.The music channels the place-in-time feeling of Jamaica’s Studio One recordings from the‭ ‬1960s and‭ ‬1970s.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬the dancehall carnival feeling is skin deep only.‭ ‬Smith is one of the difficult school of rappers that fight with their demons on acetate for the world to hear.‭ ‬Consistently throughout,‭ ‬but especially on closer‭ The Struggle‭‬,‭ ‬we find him enumerating the difficulties of balancing artistic advancement and the need to provide for others.There are few rappers in the world who can deal with real internal turmoil and lyrical skill in a successful way.‭ ‬Nas is one.‭ ‬Roots Manuva is another.‭ ‬There is enough universal wisdom in Slime and Reason to make it one of the most vital hip hop albums I’ve ever heard.
This review originally from Analogue. The video to Again and Again is pretty excellent, and you should check this uninformed review against that of the experts.

13. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Real Emotional Trash
Domino“Of all my stoned digressions, some have mutated into the truth”. That’s the first line of Real Emotional Trash, and that’s the premise. Follow the music where it wants to go. Wait for the beauty to reveal itself. In a world of indie rock that Malkmus perceives to be divided between the Gang of Four devotees and those who love Pavement, an album in the milieu of long-deleted 60s bands in the psychedelic slipstream of the more cocksure likes of Hendrix and The Doors is likely to be a curveball. Many felt it didn’t work, but my gut feeling is that comparative listening is hurting Malkmus. You can only judge an album on its own isolate merits. And Real Emotional Trash is not devoid of those, even if they are longer and a little more esoteric than those that preceded it. Simply following the music where it wants to go paints pictures with subtle and novel shades. But it is the clearings in the dense forest of fretplay that provide the true transcendence. When Out of Reaches or Gardenia pop out of the furore, context makes them something strangely, and differently, beautiful.
SM is at least my second favourite interview I’ve ever done. This video might be better though.

12. Wolf Parade At Mount Zoomer
Sub PopSpencer Krug is a font of genius. This is a truth self-evident. Picture his input to anything as a white light. The question is not whether or not the germ of inspiration is going to be there, the question is how it’s going to translate to music. In front of the white light, you could put any number of things. You could have slides of colour, or you could cast shadows, or block it off, or whatever. That all comes from the context. How do you listen to a new Wolf Parade album when the guy who wrote almost all of the truly great songs on the last one has spent the last three years taking his music into new, complex and much more developed regions with a different band? You just have to go with it. It works, too. It’s not quite the opus that the unjustly underrated Random Spirit Lover unfolded into, but the spidery, proggy character of Mount Zoomer stakes its own claim. It’s surprisingly unified for what is now essentially a side project for both primary songwriters. Songs such as Boeckner’s bare, aching Fine Young Cannibals and Krug’s more knotted but equally aching Call It A Ritual sit well together and create a slightly gothic feeling that evokes the wildness that the title describes.
Dan Gray did an interview which was pretty good, and Pitchfork did several.

11. No Age – Nouns
Sub PopI read a lot of magazines and blogs, and a lot of my friends do too, so I’ve slowly developed quite a stockpile of indie rock anecdotes. With some of them, I can remember the page and issue of the magazine it came from. With others, it’s just a vague recollection, or something I was told in passing. My favourite No Age anecdote is one of the latter. I was once told that Nouns was recorded and mixed in full, then played through a guitar amp and recorded again with a single microphone. This recording is the one that ended up being released. I’m not sure if this is actually true, but it sounds a lot like it and it’s a good story. It’s loud and it’s muddy. Everything is distorted. But it has more going for it than the half-attentive stoner shoegaze it might be, just on production values. Eraser bristles with static electricity before releasing it and heading into a hooky chorus. And Teen Creeps, as I have noted here before, is one of the tracks of the year. It’s not often that music perceptibly explodes on your speakers, but this does.
Metacritic is an interesting one here for such a divisive record, but bring the band and you have two friends for life.

Special Bulletin

Started listening to Fight Like Apes’ album as soon as it went up to stream.

One-listen verdict:

guarded expression…

cautious smile

wide grin!

Gareth wanted me to link to his exclusive review of it, for some reason possibly relating to a belief that Fight Like Apes fans read this blog because it’s named after them. So go there, read it, then go to entertainment.ie and compare notes with newly ebonics-employing Analogue web supremo Gareth Stack.