Side A - 'Tie Me Up With Jackets' (2:36)
(Go here for the high-definition version)
Side B [fixed] - 'Telephone the Real Ham Jackson' (6:10)
previous post - 'Jake Summers' and 'Lend Me Your Face' 7"s
'Tie Me Up With Jackets' is the first fresh song from Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion to be released as a single, excepting 'Something Global' which was released as an EP before the album... to show people what they sounded like with producer John Goodmanson. While I still don't think any of the songs quite surpass those of the original EPs, 'Tie Me Up With Jackets' was a definite grower from the full-length. I like the sweet guitar (bass) intro, with its carefully placed synthy squawks, and the agreeably daft/weird/poignant(/scary) lyrics -
"Same goes for you, I like my meatballs in a dish
and I like other people too
as the saying goes, I'm pretty nift
but I'd love to see you in the nude with overcoats tied around your head
and Japanese children in your bed"
From its quiet, low twee-dark beginnings, the song shifts several gears into the "lovely noise" chorus, which was what grabbed my attention listening to the album at first. And the "cha cha cha" part is crucial in a live setting too.
The video outdoes the song, really, however, with its arty conception of Fight Like Apes, the cartoon pop band, and the band of technicolour sonic experimentation. Combining synched-up ink blots with rotoscope-like overpainting of film footage (a brief flash of the underlying image at about 0:25) along with the gratuitous, clichéd shots of an Irish-band-on-a-windswept-beach (North Strand/Dollymount?) it's an impressive work for the Irish scene. Just like Fight Like Apes themselves, then.
The b-side, 'Telephone the Real Ham Jackson' - possibly their most inpenetrably bizarre title yet - is at once a bit of an oddity and a natural progression from the style of the a-side. Starting off again with some great bass, it then develops into a weird, chanting Indian-like melody and briefly a Suicide lo-fi moment, before kicking back in with the stomping, poppy bass rhythm and ultimately tailing off into shoegazey-electronic noise.
Today I listened to this and the leak of Bromst for the first time, and the two - b-side and sophomore album - seem to go well together. At just over six minutes it's unusual for a Fight Like Apes song, and probably too much of a digression to get much play live, but it's in a similar vein to 'Lumpy Dough' which I found similarly engrossing on hearing it first. Maybe not as immediate or as catchy as the rest of their work, but certainly an interesting direction for them to go in as a powerful - more in artistic than commercial terms yet - pop band.
(if anyone wants a mediafire file of these rips, just ask I guess)