It’s cold. It’s not Christmas. We’re a year older. Everything’s grey and damp and life is a load of cock. Cometh the hour, cometh the band: Dublin quartet Fight Like Apes couldn’t have picked a better moment to splat their playschool paint-bomb of a debut into our mopey faces.
Relentlessly pilfering the brightest parts of post-hardcore synthery, cartoon punk and sugar-rush twee, these totally hinge-free magpies have built a nest from shards of Enter Shikari, Test Icicles and Le Tigre and then thrashed the shiny fuck out of it. Take ‘Jake Summers’’ impudent insults, lead maniac May Kay barking “You’re like Kentucky Fried Chicken but without the taste”. Or the rantings of ‘Lend Me Your Face’ (“I’ll bust it up but I’ll replace it”). If you dislike puerile silliness, you’ll hate it. But, well… yer mum.
Their fight-and-make-up pop is like Dananananaykroyd gone new wave, with the B-movie and comic-book geek-joy of early Ash. But that doesn’t mean there’s no depth, if that’s your poison. The fuel for ‘Digifucker’’s screamed chorus of “and did you fuck her/And did you stick things up her?/And did she love it?” is as much despair as dementia, offering glimpses of a heart beneath May Kay’s whipping hair. But who needs tired old feelings with the musical P45 of ‘I’m Beginning To Think You Prefer Beverly Hills 90210 To Me’ (an actual kiss-off to some workshy band staff, with the refrain “You’re so fired”)? FLA are the anti-emo, a funny, clever slap of fun. Turn the other cheek, eh?