a.P.A.t.T (ay’he’ pat’) formed in Liverpool in the late 90s. Once described by Alan Mcgee of Creation Records as “Britain’s best kept secret,” they’ve been producing music without boundaries for many years now, Fun With Music being their 6th album. Fun With Music has the purposely over produced tricks of 2008’s release Black & White Mass (Radio 1 album of the week) and the seemingly bat-shit playful song-cycle of 2012’s Paul The Record, which is one side of vinyl with more ideas in 15 short minutes than any Mr Bungle release.
Essentially what we have here is 10 colourful genre-shifting ear worms slithering through a playful paintbox of influences. Starting with the post punk esq bass line of Yes…That’s Positive, the tune throws the kitchen sink approach of a.P.A.t.T at you like a seismic punch to the gut. The track de-constructs a poppy Bach motif taken from the “Ski Sunday” theme tune and re-assembles it as a off kilter avant-melody, before peaking into shear musical Prozac. This piece alone showcases so many ideas that by it’s dubby breakdown you’re left thinking “again, please!”
Have a look for yourself in the video above.
Give My Regards To Bold Street references the tranquil parts of Zappa’s Lumpy Gravy, eventually breaking down into a chewed up tape clicking off, typical of a.P.A.t.T’s living breathing mix tape approach. a.P.A.t.T do nothing for the sake of it, commanding a sense of dynamic restraint for focused harmonic development. Is this fancy and smart arsed? Yes! Yes! They know all the compositional tricks and they utilize them coherently in order to pull off perfect pedantic pop! Audiophiles and casual listeners alike can get lost in this self proclaimed “stupid music.” Matter Of Fact is a great example of this, it’s so mathematical it sounds like a battle between a baroque piece and a 16 bit SNES soundtrack. And like the band Battles.
It’s insulting to suggest that a.P.A.t.T sound like anyone but themselves. This is pop music but with a progressive twist. If you’re e a casual listener the production is such you could happily choose a few tracks to add to a playlist. If you are a bit of an audiophile, you could even dip in and out of chunks of a.P.A.t.T’s back catalogue as you see fit. But Fun With Music is their most focused effort yet, perhaps second only to Paul The Record. Such is the staggering audio achievements of this band, their accumulative output can only fairly be compared to their own past efforts. The only catch is you can’t purchase this release anywhere else but from their own malformed mitts, so I would strongly advise seeing them live. They’re always a sight to behold, akin to Rock in Opposition crossed with the best bits of Abba and Zappa, performing musical chairs between songs by swapping instruments, while maintaining a constant report of engagement with an audience. Awesome.
Words: Cragius Barry
*This is an edited version of the review Craigus originally submitted. Find the original version on his blog here –
And for comparison, read his review of a.P.A.t.T’s previous record “Paul the Record” here –