Saturday, August 6, 2011
Fire Apes- A Life In Letters
When I describe a band how I feel they are, I am always a little concerned they will get offended if I say something like “very sugar pop” and it wasn't the sound they were aiming for. I don't care what the Fire Apes think when I say they are very 80's with their psychedelic pop sounds that remind me of the things I grew up listening to. My parents currently live 1,300km away (if you have been reading my reviews a lot, or know me personally, you would know this.) and I haven't seen them for months which is a bit of a shock for me, as this is the first time I have lived out of home (good on you uni) but A Life In Letters has made me feel a bit less homesick. I find their music comforting and fun. This is home-sickness-remedy is definitely not what they were aiming for, but I think as long as I am feeling the tunes, they will be happy.
So, now that you know my personal reasons for worshiping the ground these guys make music on, lets get down to the actual review.
As I have said, A Life In Letters really nails the sound. It is fun, psychedelic, pop, rock but has a story to tell (as I think most music of that era did). It reminds me a little of The Beatles on occasion and every song on the album has relevance to me, so I can assume other will find the personal touch too.
Starting with “It's Over” you will start off with the electric guitar and synthetic sound. The vocals were what really pulled me back to my youth, the lyrics and choruses had me right there.
“Tell me that you think you know its over
Now you feel you need to know its over”
Coupled with big, full climax, if you don't like the music now, just stop listening.
It only gets better with “Killing Me From Inside” which slows down the pace. I am reminded of the scene in “The Virgin Suicides” when there are phone calls backwards and forwards with music playing, and not talking. It fits right in with the touching, in love feeling. It is a beautiful song and is very sweet.
“Its killing my from the inside
It's hard for me to say
That a part of your remains
When you go away”
“Hey Kate!” is a stand out, generating foot tapping and the want to dance. They have a more rock sound here, it is fun and the guitar work is so smooth. Makes me want to play in their band just so I can make those sounds. Coupled with their catchy lyrics and it is another winner.
Oh Kate is it all too late?”
The foot tapping continues with “Cause You Don't.” With heavier riffs than “Hey Kate!”, it is even more enjoyable.
“If Things Don't Look So Good Today” slows things back down.
“Only You Could Make Me Happy” at first sounds like it abandoned the 80's sound, but all it has done is toned it down a notch, and instead of sounding like an anomolie on the album, it sounds like a stand out. One of my favourites.
“Only you could make me happy
Only you could make me happy
Only you could make me happy
For a while”
Trumpets, keyboards, and vocals dominate “Don't Break My Heart” making a classic.
“Don't break my heart
Don't make it too bad on my
Don't break my heart
And maybe it wont be too bad on me”
“3 O'clock (So Long)” is more distorted than the other songs on the album thus far and it taps the rock and psychedelic part of the psychedelic pop rock.
“It's three o'clock
And I will let you know when we go
So long, So long, So long
Here we go again”
“I” is a love song and another stand out on A Life In Letters. It is faster paced, but sweet and loving. A perfect mix.
“I see your mind and what you write
Other bring it to life
All of the scenes, all of the dreams become real
And that how it feels
I read your lines and in-between
Things you think you conceal
If only you knew, how little they do”
It couldn't be an 80's flavoured album without a few song named after girls, right? “Lori” is faster paced, with heavier riffs, and a desperate call out to a girl.
“I don't know her,
I think I love her,
I know I need her,
Please be mine”
You are in for a surprise with “6 ½ Years.” It opens with slow finger picking guitar work and violins. Once the lyrics start you understand why.
“All that I wanted was you
6 ½ years are though”
Fire Apes are freaking amazing. A Life In Letters isn't going to be budging from my playlist for quite a while, and not just because they make me miss home less but because they know what they are doing. Their vocals, lyrics, melodies are all perfectly matched, all interesting and all enjoyable to listen to.