Twelve gloriously penned pieces of unadulterated pop.
Jen Long 2011-04-11
Mary-Kate Geraghty (or ‘MayKay’) is an intriguing character. In terms of her vocal range, its subtle but destroying timbre, and her first-crush looks, it’s easy to imagine her as a chart-topping pop diva, stealing the hearts and minds of a million teenage fans.
Instead, we find her fronting Irish keyboard-trashing outfit Fight Like Apes, wrestling her bandmates to the floor and throwing out more curses than Kanye. It’s hardly pop’s perfect dream, but it’s a role that she fills with brilliance and belief.
The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner, the follow-up to 2008 debut Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion, follows a similar route to its predecessor. The songs are childish and self-involved, an honest and smirking sneer at the formulaic lyricism of present and past pop.
The main difference lies in the production. Swapping John Goodmanson for Gang of Four’s Andy Gill at the desk, the band’s sound becomes a more bass-heavy affair. Gone are the grunged shrieks of synth that could easily have been mistaken for six strings of steel. Instead, Gill lets the instrumentation take a back seat to Geraghty’s belting lungs, gruffly juxtaposed by the nomadic grunts of fellow keyboardist Jamie ‘Pockets’ Fox.
It’s a smart move but one that makes not that much of a significant impact on the album as a finished piece. There’s little difference or progression from their debut, which is no criticism in truth. The real joy of this record is that, behind the sulking and swearing, the clips of sampled speech and toying yelps, are 12 gloriously penned pieces of unadulterated pop.
Fight Like Apes are the bratty ambassadors for all things obtuse, self-involved and immature. They say what every scorned lover and rejected friend has whispered, but they do it with a screech and two-finger salute.