Friday, July 16, 2010

Ape Shit / Intravenous in Furs

Ape Shit / Intravenous in Furs
Split LP. No Label. No Contact details. 100 Copies.
When Jim MacDougall wasn’t smashing bank windows or getting himself sectioned [well, maybe he didn’t get sectioned but I’d be surprised if he hasn’t] he was sending me CD’s of his band Ape Shit. They couldn’t play very well and the quality control was non-existent but the urgency to get stuff down was there in its maladroit glory for all to see. Eight releases appeared in a manic flurry of inventiveness that was one year and one gig. Each release was as shambolic as the next; a drummer who tried to fit in too many fills, a bass player too high in the mix, a guitarist who really wanted to be in another band altogether and above it all Jim MacDougall and his Ian Dury on acid stream of conscious ramblings. Pro lunacy group Mad Pride persuaded them to reform for a one off gig a year down the road and some of that appears here. This being Ape Shit they’ve don’t sound anything like Ape Shit but instead like Lenny Kravitz singing I Like You, over and over again except its not Jim singing its the guitarist. In Jim’s world nothing is ever quite straight forward. Maybe he got a new band together for the reunion? This untitled side of vinyl can be seen as summation of all that Jim’s done so far. Hear Jim as stand up comic [What’s the difference between me and Bernard Manning? ... silence ... about eight stone]. Hear Jim read poetry dedicated to someone who threw themselves under a train [its rather poignant actually] but above all there’s Ape Shit playing as only Ape Shit can - a haphazard beat knocked out by people with only a vague grasp of how their instrument works over which Jim sings/talks his incessant, made up as he goes along diatribe. There will never be another band like Ape Shit. You really do have to be mad to make music like this.
Meanwhile in Blackpool Intravenous In Furs sound like The Doors meets Gong meets Acid Mother Temple only on cheaper drugs, cider and roll ups. The West coast is now Fylde not California and the crooner is Simon Morris [ex Ceramic Hobs] not Jim Morrison. Heavy Leather centers around an evolving piece of krautrock meets Finnish nodders Circle. A piece that goes from all out LA Woman to Pink Lady Lemonade replete with Theremin and growly vocals. Morris really can sing y’know and its a crime that his talents haven’t been more widely recognised. There’s samples of children’s TV, a gig announcer exhorting the kids to shout fuck off and a short spurt of something Ruins wouldn’t have been ashamed to put their name to. At the end of it all there’s even a version of Rolf Harris’s Sun Arise in which Morris gets to show off his vocal chords to even greater effect. To be honest I’m at a loss as to how best describe this floating piece of ROCK which is why you’ve got all those references there. At least we know where to go if the UK psychedelic rock scene kicks off.
Probably one of the most uncommercial slabs of vinyl to come this way for quite some time and thats saying something.

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