Band of the Week: Something Involving a Monkey

Concert Preview

Band of the Week: Something Involving a Monkey

Meet the Band: Joe P. (guitar, keyboards and vocals), BeZo (bass, keyboards vocals), Nick Ritz (drums, percussion, sampling)

Monkey Business: As the story goes, Joe P. and original drummer Todd Ankrom played in a band called the Family Riot. When that band broke up in 2010, the guys recruited bassist/kazoo player BeZo from Resist/Blood Runs Dry with the intention of doing something “creative and goofy and heavy and unique." Band members have said the group’s name is intended to trigger a response and make you wonder, “What the hell is this?" After regrouping in the wake of Ankrom’s massive heart attack that he experienced moments after a show, the band finally issued its debut, The Wasteland, last year.

Back into the Studio: The band started writing the songs for a new album in early 2014. Some of the songs were leftovers from the previous album. It recorded the album, Dive Into the Great Blue Waffle, with Noah Buchanan, singer in the local metal band Solipsis. The name of the album is a “double meaning.” “It is our ‘fuck it — let’s throw everything we got at it’ album,” says Joe P. “Styles and genres and lengths of songs are of no matter. I don’t want to say it’s a hodgepodge because there’s some consistency. We also have the entrees, which are the main songs. We were throwing everything plus the kitchen sink at it.”

Why You Should Hear Them: Nasally vocals distinguish the manic “Banana,” and “Good Example of a Bad Day” starts with the sound of chirping birds that then gives way to manic, Mr. Bungle-inspired guitars and gruff vocals. The new album’s title track features gentle acoustic guitar and ukulele and bellowing vocals and sounds like an Americana rendition of a Nick Cave tune. It serves as the closing piece for the album. “We deliberately made it soft and sedated because if you listen to the rest of the album with its intensity and anxiety, this was the calm after the storm of everything that was thrown at you for the past 45 minutes,” says Joe P. when asked about the song. “It’s another element we’ve been experimenting with and have been doing acoustic stuff lately.”

Where You Can Hear Them:

Where You Can See Them: Something Involving a Monkey performs with Hysteria, 3rd World Leader, Audio Engine and Underground Ninja Death Squad at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 30, at the Foundry in Lakewood.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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