Chilled Monkey Brains
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Chilled Monkey Brains

Tallahassee, Florida, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Tallahassee, Florida, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Rock Ska


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Chilled Monkey Brains - APEocalypse"

Years ago, there was a time or two when I tried to “skank.” I may have even “toasted” at some point. It wasn’t pretty and I have since made a vow to never do it again. Don’t lie- if you grew up in the 90’s you have tried it as well. Although I look back with fondness at albums by Slapstick, Spring Heeled Jack and The Bruce Lee Band, such bands are representative of a by-gone era. It has been evident for many years that “ska-core” was a fad whose time has come and gone.

All of which begs the question: Is there room in today’s musical landscape for ska? Sure, bands from the 3rd wave such as Less Than Jake, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Reel Big Fish and Mighty Mighty Bosstones are still in various states of activity today, but any new ska band faces an uphill battle. There is a stigma attached to the genre that cannot be easily shaken.

However, rest assured that you can listen to APEocalypse by Tallahassee Florida’s Chilled Monkey Brains without trepidation. The album was recorded at Earthsound Recordings by Lee Dyess (Against Me!, From First To Last, I Set My Friends On Fire) and features guest artists Danny Bedrosian (Keyboards, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic) and Tim Blackmon (Trumpet, Wynton Marsalis, and Fungle Junk). This band takes the essence of what initially drew listeners to ska-punk and adds a contemporary flavor. You do not need a porkpie hat or a skinny tie to enjoy this.

After a Spanish guitar intro, the band kicks into “Enter the Wasteland”, which sounds like an outtake from an early Propagandhi album (with horns to boot) before delving into an extended instrumental section. Most of the song arrangements throughout the album are complex, with multiple genre and tempo changes in each song. There’s certainly enough to keep the listener interested, even if some sections could be a bit more concise.

Synthesizers, horns, guitars, bass, drums and vocals could result in cacophony, but Chilled Monkey Brains nails the instrumentation with skill. The band can handle punk, ska, thrash, metal and jazz with equal relish- this is clearly a talented group of musicians. Listen to “The Tale of Ramirez DePietro” for a good example of the range this band is capable of.

There’s a lot going on musically on this album, and the production and mixing keeps the individual instruments distinct and not muddy. It’s a really huge sound and I imagine this band puts on an ear-splittingly good live show. - Punk News

"APEocalypse - Chilled Monkey Brains"

The rise of skacore has been a sluggishly slow path at best, but the ranks have increased over the past few years. From the long running contributions of VooDoo Glow Skulls to the addition of Do It With Malice and Brain Dead, there are always a few active bands out there. The latest to join the fray,Tallahassee, FL’s Chilled Monkey Brains, marks ones of the most active and innovative contributions to hit the skacore scene in a while. The energetic eight piece’s sophomore effort, APEocalypse, combines elements of all of the above into a singular, focused piece of work that doesn’t hesitate to get its hands dirty.

Key to their appeal, Chill Monkey Brains gives equal weight to each of their varied vectors of influence, moving fluidly between each with expert skill. At no time does the “ska” label dictate the direction of the album or any one of the songs for that matter. Ominous opener “Enter The Wasteland” pulls out all the stops in setting a brooding atmosphere. From the minute and a half of rolling thunder and singular church bell chimes binding together the hard rock riffs and trombone blasts leading up to the perilous statement, “two men enter, I will leave,” the band launches into a full on skate punk mashup, only to transform into a jazzy, brass-lead tone that again makes the metamorphosis into something of a late-song power-metal fury. If you think that’s a mouthful, then you better get ready because that’s just the opening track.

With so many standouts to draw from, narrowing APEocalyspe down to a few choice cuts serves as a tall order. Starting with the heaviest moments, look no further than “Thrashterpiece Theatre” and “Anadonda’s Delight.” Such tracks mark the album’s introduction to some deep, throaty deathcore bellows (like something from The Acacia Strain) fleshed out by dark electronics/keys and frantic metal solo finger fingerwork. Such tracks are every bit as vocally diverse as they are instrumentally varied, but succeed in amalgamating the many strengths of peers Voo Doo Glow Skulls and Do It With Malice along with their own touch.

On the cleaner side of things, tunes like “ Soldiers” and “Note To Self” ground APEocalypse in aggressive melody and tuneful brass tangents. For instance, check out how portions of the former take a nod from various Fat Wreck Chords pop-punk vocalists like Banner Pilot and Dead To Me set to a backdrop of EpiFat era punk like Satanic Surfers or Ten Foot Pole. Meanwhile, the latter heavily emphasizes a strong upstroke (think Keepin’ 6) with the pendulum swinging liberally between thrashy hardcore and a brassy acoustic feel. “The Tale Of Ramirez DePietro” delivers the goods in grand narrative fashion with plenty of sonic ups and downs (including a sort of candlelight vigil) well worth experiencing for yourself.

That Chilled Monkey Brains can throw an killer instrumental cover of Street Fighter II’s epic “Guille Theme” (known here as “Go Home And Be A Family Man”) smack in the middle of the album and make it an undeniable dose of essential listening, speaks to APEocalypse’s masterful strength and replay. On that note, if the aural gauntlet that is title track doesn’t completely win listeners over with its apocalyptic ska meets metal modern epic, then it might be time to reevaluate your priorities. Put simply, APEocalypse deserves a special and coveted spot in any ska-punk enthusiast’s library. - The Punk Site


Chilled Monkey Brains are a six-piece ska-core band hailing from Tallahassee, Florida. Formed in 2009, they have since played the Vans Warped Tour and shared stages with the likes of Less Than Jake, Voodoo Glow Skulls and Catch 22. They are now back with their second full length release, APEocalypse.

The album opens with ‘Enter The Wasteland’. A fitting opener with the atmospheric rain, thunder and church bells sounds before bringing in a power metal guitar riff and trombones along side. When the track gets up to full speed, it is manic riffs and horns at full speed which at moments bears slight resemblance to early Howards Alias.

Tracks like ‘Soldiers’ and ‘Mongoose’ really show the bands heavier punk side as opposed to ‘Go Home and Be A Family Man’ which with the synth doesn’t sound a million miles away from a heavier instrumental Aquabats tracks. With the very melodic tone throughout and the upbeat synth and horns battling it out against the heavy guitars.

The track ‘Note To Self’ is probably the most accurate representation of the band as it perfectly displays what you expect when the words “ska””punk” and “metal” are thrown around together. Complete chaos between the heavy metal guitars, upbeat horns, screamed vocals divided up with a ska rhythm.

the Ska genre has a pretty heavy reputation now due mostly due to the fans, ska kids were never the most popular. However bands like Chilled Monkey Brains are making a pretty strong case to give the genre some solid credibility, much like the British ska scene did back in the early 2000s. But now going about it with thrash guitars, it is a wild experiment and it has to be said. It’s working. - The Daily Slice

"Chilled Monkey Brains"

Taking their namesake from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” Chilled Monkey Brains released a new album towards the end of 2014. This new LP entitled “APEocalypse” is their third official release, following an LP in 2012(“We’re All in This Together”) and a self-titled EP in 2010. This 6-piece band hails from Tallahassee, Florida and has created a melting pot of music styles in their brand of ska. Let’s check out APEocalypse…

1. “Enter the Wasteland”-Thunder rolls, bells chime and a stripped-down acoustic guitar set the stage in this opening track. Quickly, the mood changes with heavier guitars and blaring horns. This song seems to have it all, backing vocals, gang vocals, horn solos and killer shredding guitars. What a great way to start this out! Grade: B+

2. “Thrashterpiece Theatre”-Feeling a little disjointed at times, this is still a pretty solid tune. Once again, the horns are given a time to shine. The use of the organ is no stranger to tradition ska/rocksteady music; however I have not heard much of it used with those in the ska-punk niche. It really adds something extra. I also really enjoyed the synthesizer part near the end of the song, making listeners tap into their inner Devo. Grade: B

3. “Note to Self”-From the screaming that starts out the song to the punchier vocals that carry the remainder of the tune, I just don’t care for the singing in this song. This is a shame because the rest of the song it top notch; from the backing vocals beginning the 1:50 mark, to the slick guitar parts and the horn arrangement, this song has a lot going for it. Grade: C

4. “Soldiers”-Sacrificing none of its hard-hitting nature, this one has more of a “radio- friendly” quality to it. Reminding me a little of Bad Religion (but with more punch) I really enjoyed the vocals in this one. Nice job. Grade: B+

5. “The Tale of Ramirez Depietro”- This is a colassal song, with lots of things happening all at once. Chilled Monkey Brains sticks to familiar territory with its blaring guitars and horns that will slap you across the face. This being stated, they also add that “pirate” feel near the halfway point with combination of instrumentation and vocal harmonies. Just when you thought they couldn’t pull any more punches, a funk feel, followed by crazy space-synth are added for good measure. This song is epic! Grade: A

6. “Illusions”-Pairing off between hardcore punk guitars and a traditional third wave ska guitar sound, “Illusions” will turn the moshing crowd into a skanking one for sure. This song also sets you up for the next on the album. Grade: B+

7. “Anaconda’s Delight”- What starts out as a slower number with bending guitar riffs, creeps into the gray area between speed metal and punk. A great song. Grade: A-

8. “Go Home and Be a Family Man”- I have not played video games since the SNES days, so this tune takes me back to one of my favorite games. Normally, instrumentals should be left to those in the traditional ska group, but the nostalgia factor certainly trumps this view. Grade: A-

9. “Snake”-Channeling some death-metal growling vocals, this is probably the hardest song so far. Again, I like the instrumentation, but the vocals struck out with me. Grade: C-

10. “Mongoose”-Carried over from “Snake,” this ditty features the similar vocal style as “Note to Self.” Not a bad tune, but again not my favorite: Grade: B-

11. “Gorilla Warfare”-This is not really much of a song in itself, but definitely sets the stage for this album’s final chapter. Grade: B

12. “Apeocalypse”- Chilled Monkey Brains showcases what they do best; changing pace and musical styles within the same song. The long intro makes the listener wonder what they are in store for. The aggressive vocals are contrasted nicely with the smooth jazz trumpet solo. Nice way to finish this album off. Grade: B-

Well let’s get this out of the way first. I do not like screaming or death-metal-like vocals. This is just personal preference and is the reason why I downgraded some of the songs. The risk you run when blending several musical styles is twofold: sure you create something that is truly unique, but will it appeal to a larger audience or a much smaller one. Other than the style of vocals, to me this is an amazing album; chock full of things that I have not heard yet in ska music (I have been listening to ska since 1996). I always appreciate a band that has perfected their craft even if it is within the narrow confines of a music style, however, every once in a while, a band comes along that is truly unique and that stands out in the crowd. This my friends, is Chilled Monkey Brains. They have effortlessly created a fusion of so many sounds (metal, punk, hardcore, ska, funk and synth-pop) into 12 cohesive songs, yet never losing the qualities of each individual part. The instrumental arrangements are one of a kind as well, with prominent horns at every twist and turn. This album will appeal most to those who like their ska loud, hard and fast, in the vein of Metallica and Slayer. With equal parts Mighty Mighty Bosstones, NOFX and Dragon Force, this 800 lb. gorilla in the room is a force to be reckoned with! Overall Grade: B - Ska-Boom

"Show Review"

“Chilled Monkey Brains reminds me of equal parts Reel Big Fish, Streetlight Manifesto, The Hippos, Five Iron Frenzy, and even fellow Floridians Less Than Jake. They have the ability to take bits and pieces of ska's past and combine all these different
Influences and sounds into original and exciting music." - Rocketfuel Podcast

"Show Review"

"In all of my days there have been some good punk/ska bands, but Chilled Monkey Brains are the next level of
greatness!” - Van's Warped Tour Promotion Blog

"Show Review"

"I wanted to turn ya'll on to a band I just saw at the Mass Ska Raid. Chilled Monkey Brains went on early in the day
and stole the show. They play a really awesome and fun mix of hardcore and ska. their stage antics and humorous
attitudes just added to the
impressive atmosphere they managed to create." - BeAtlanta

"Show Review"

"The band’s sonic dynamics, coupled with their ability to engage with he crowd, made them an exciting act to see..." - The Burger


2009 "Origins" EP (digital only)

2010 "Chilled Monkey Brains" LP

2012 "We're All In This Together" EP (Swamp Cabbage)

2104 "APEocalypse" LP



Chilled Monkey Brains was formed in 2009 in Tallahassee, FL by members of Hopesick, Call For Fire, and The Soular System. The band drew attention in their first year, winning the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands and an invitation to perform on Warped Tour.  Since, they have gained a reputation for their electric live performances, have played hundreds of shows, toured the U.S. multiple times, and routinely playing with acts such as Less than Jake, Mephiskapheles, Authority Zero, The Slackers, Mustard Plug, The Toasters, Voodoo Glow Skulls, and many more. Their unique sound brings punk, ska, and metal together seamlessly into a sound that has drawn a wide range of comparisons from Streetlight Manifesto and Five Iron Frenzy to Propaghandi and The Acacia Strain.

CMB released their fourth album(second full-length), APEocalypse, in Fall 2014. An unapologetically metal treatment of ska-punk. The album was recorded by Lee Dyess at Earthsound Recordings, and features guest artists Danny Bedrosian (Keyboards/George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Secret Army) and Tim Blackmon (Trumpet/Wynton Marsalis, Fungle Junk). 

The band has been touring constantly and from 2014-2015 played over 120 shows all across the U.S.. In 2016, the band expects to almost double that 2-year mark with more U.S. tours in the works and possible tours into international markets.