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Come Alive with A Shrewdness of Apes

Washington D.C. progressive rock act A Shrewdness of Apes (ASOA) are poised to release their latest offering, Live from Jammin Java on December 28, 2023. Ring in the New Year with the first live EP to be released by ASOA and made available on all major streaming platforms. 

A Shrewdness of Apes band members posing together along a sidewalk.

Recorded earlier this year while sharing a lineup with Outerloop and Roscoe Tripp at the iconic VIenna, VA concert venue Jammin Java, the live album was then mixed by Ben Green of Ivakota Studios.

“This particular live performance is special because this is the last release we’ll have with Chris Sciotto on the songs (bass and backup vocals. He moved to New York this year,” notes guitarist and vocalist Ian Mabley. “Also, the drum solo called ‘Gabagool’ on the album is the first time JR Franks (our drummer) ever took a drum solo by himself and not in a song. We were trying something new this time around to leave time for us to tune our instruments, and JR knocked it out of the park.”

A Shrewdness of Apes - Live at Jammin Java - cover art featuring photos of the band members overlaid on top of an image of a radio tower.
A Shrewdness of Apes - Live at Jammin Java - cover art.

The complexities offered within the track listings exhibit A Shrewdness of Apes’ assorted array of influences such as Tool, Yes, Alice in Chains, and Queens of the Stone Age. The band has reached for, and attained something both unique musically and topically. ASOA has a song with over four different time signatures in it as well as songs with multiple tempos. Subject matters range from movies, evolution, and when nuclear power goes awry like in “New-Q-Ler” which appeared on the band’s first full length, self-titled album, recorded at BIAS Studios in Alexandria, VA and released in 2019.

“Granted there are some songs about relationships in the mix,” says Mabley, “but they are few and far between. It’s also not about musical indulgence, we have a lot of social/political commentary material that has a takeaway message.”

Fans can also expect live versions of tracks like “Fear,” released on the band’s latest full length album Globe Cooker, which received coverage from KPISS.FM when it was released in 2021. The track hits fans squarely in the place where Chevelle meets System of A Down. No easy feat. 

With 3 EPs and 2 full-length albums under their belts, ASOA is already rich in DMV history while still also in the act of making history themselves. Having formed in Richmond in 2013 before relocating to the D.C. Metro area, they are committed to providing something a little different to the region and beyond.

A Shrewdness of Apes performing live at Jammin Java.
A Shrewdness of Apes performing live at Jammin Java- Photo courtesy of Roxplosion.

“We believe something unexpected and unusual can not only be entertaining, it can be inspiring,” Mabley comments on behalf of ASOA. “Original bands don’t have to sound similar to cover bands. Our mission is to show people that this brand of hard rock/prog exists and can be accessible and fun to listen to. Our particular brand of music has enabled us to co-host shows with a diverse variety of genres, and we’ve gained many friends in the music scene along the way.”

A Shrewdness of Apes will perform live at Pie Shop with Cuni and XK Scenario, on January 3, 2024. Information and tickets are available on the Pie Shop website.

Daniel Warren Hill

Daniel Warren Hill is an American musician, writer, and motivational speaker. He is best known as the frontman for Washington DC area Alternative Rock band YellowTieGuy, as co-founder of Capitol Groove Collective, and increasing the exposure of artists on a global scale through his work with Alchemical Records. 

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