Album Reviews

The Fighting Cocks – Music For Lapdancers

(FGZ Records) UK release date: 28 July 2008


Believe me, you wouldn’t want a lapdance anywhere you’d find this playing. There is something just a bit grubby about the whole thing, something not entirely convincing; something that just doesn’t ring quite true. In fact it’s not entirely unlike a lapdancing experience at all – a good idea at the time, but ultimately you’ll feel empty, cheated and at least �10 worse off.

The Fighting Cocks deal in schizophrenic sampling, and sometimes it works to perfection. You’ll find a little bit of everything here on music for lapdancers. There’s a bit of Rockabilly, a pinch of James Brown (natch), dialogue from old school classic movies like Goodfellas, chucks of Digital Hardcore, gypsy strings and Bollywood dancebeats.

To be fair to The Fighting Cocks, when it works, it really works. The Little Goats’ Big Night pounding fusion of Crazy Horses to JB’s horn sections is as invigorating as a sulphuric acid body scrub (despite the disturbing inclusion of the “Big Mac, fries to go refrain” tacked on the end).

The Greek wedding gatecrashed by the Skatalites that is There’s Nothing Going On Between Marvin and Tamara is another exercise in genius mashing of styles and cultures. Likewise, Gangsta takes James Brown and pumps his carcass full of Gabber and is pretty fucking huge, as you might expect.

At other times they just sound like they’re trying way too hard to cram as many reference points and clever allusions into too smaller a space. It can make for quite uncomfortable listening as idea after idea is heaped on top of each other without really achieving anything.

But what ultimately lets The Fighting Cocks down is the vocals. A confident wide boy does not necessarily a good front man make and Matyi’s delivery just isn’t up to scratch. The least said about the agonising John Barry meets Mungo Jerry ballad of Come Get Some the better. Even worse, I’m sad to report, is the backing vocals of Hillary, Anna and Ilaria, rarely in tune, and frequently irritating (check out No Candy) they quite often drag The Fighting Cocks down.

At twenty tracks this Music For Lapdancers is way too long, by the time they reach The Roof Is On Fire you begin to wonder if they�ve totally run out of ideas – you don’t need to hear that “let the motherfucker burn” chant ever again.

Getting through Music For Lapdancers is hard work in one sitting, for some reason you get the feeling that being recorded doesn’t suit this band at all. There is an undeniable energy at the heart of this album which seems to be well hidden. Catch them live because I’m sure that’s where The Fighting Cocks will thrive.


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The Fighting Cocks – Music For Lapdancers


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