Thursday, 28 April 2011

Recommended music: 'The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner' by Fight Like Apes

As a marketing tool to draw attention to the album, the title of the new release from Fight Like Apes certainly does the job. But what awaits you when you get past the name? Fortunately, the 12 tracks of polyphonic potty-mouthed punk pop contained within more than live up to the promise of the epithet on the front.

The star of the show is Mary-Kate Geraghty's deceptively good voice. It's one of those voices that has a great range and depth while at the same time sounding like she doesn't even have to try. Juxtaposed with the noisy, bouncy songs and trooper-like amount of swearing, it's even more stunning.

The songs themselves are a enjoyable mixture of quiet bits & loud bits, slow bits and fast bits (often all in the same song), shot through with a fantastic amount of pop-skills and a healthy dose of irony. There are interesting dialogue samples, which are put to particularly good use on 'Waking Up With Robocop', which also contains the great line 'I remember when you criticised me about picking the Face over Mr T'.

The highlight for me is probably 'Pull Off Your Arms and Let's Play In Your Blood'. The lyrics start gently enough - 'You're not into older men but I guess no-one looks old in the dark' - but soon take a turn down the four-letter freeway, culminating in the genius couplet 'My well read friends informed that I was a cunt / But it's her own cunting problem, it's not my fucking problem I'm dumb' (the first time I've heard that particular derivation of the c-bomb dropped in a song). The song has a slow, mournful chorus of 'I can't keep writing songs about cutting you up' before ending in a joyous, double-speed bounce round the room whith everyone singing the title.

Closer 'Ice Cream Apple Fuck' pretty much encapsulates everything the band are about in 4 minutes - references to Woody Allen, self-medication, puke and alcohol, bitching about people they've known ('I will not take your shit you skinny cow / So let's produce a rope and drag it all out), more swearing, 3 different tempos and shouted backing vocals, all topped off with MayKay's luscious lung-bursting vocals.

Produced by Gang of Four's Andy Gill, which has added more depth and strength to their sound, this should be the album that allows Fight Like Apes to break out from their native Ireland (where the album was nominated for the 2010 Choice Music Prize for Album of the Year) into the UK and beyond.

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