I haven’t seen Fight Like Apes play live yet, and I’m not looking to. Because there’s no way that they could match my expectations. You see, I’d be expecting blood, spleen, drummers lashed with bass strings and bassists drugged with ketamine. Halfway through magma would start flowing from the stage, the ground beneath rent asunder by the sheer energy being channelled above it. The casualties would be enormous: almost immediately the whole site would be designated a disaster zone, news media circling overhead like flies.
Such expectations aren’t wholly unrealistic, as anyone who hears this single can attest. Fight Like Apes don’t concern themselves with subtleties: Lend Me Your Face does away with introductions, launching straight into its refrain with uncompromising directness. ‘Lend me your face, I’ll bust it up and I’ll replace it’ entreats singer MayKay in an early contender for the year’s most romantic lyric. Later, she promises to fill us up with petrol, post-coitus, and strike a match: it’s like a night out in Nottingham, but sexier.
At less than two minutes, this is a song pared down to its violent, abrasive core, all fat cut away. They’re another band eschewing the hegemony of the six-stringed guitar, synths here providing a tilting, carnivalesque texture to the scuzzy rhythms and gunfire drums beneath. And it’s great: a rare instance of a new band actually deserving of their plaudits, rather than just receiving them by virtue of being new.
Despite an already sparing running time, seven seconds of silence are left to close this track after the final stomp of chorus gives out. This isn’t a mistake: that’ll be your recovery period before pressing play again.