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"August Ape" EP to be released Oct. 12, 2004 (Dim Mak)


Feeling a bit camera shy


August Ape, the five-song debut EP from New York pop group Prosaics, will be given North American release by Dim Mak Records on October 12th. The tremendous opening moments of its first track, “Teeth,” unfold to evince an urgency and passion distinctive to each and every second of this recording. Propulsive rhythms, boiling-point bass lines, convulsive guitars, and graceful vocals bristle against the austere structures that frame their sounds. Aghast Agape is an exciting foreword to a band that promises longevity, delivered with a force and eloquence that has also come to distinguish the group’s live shows.

Prosaics formed around a shared passion for sincere, smart, direct pop music. Eschewing “singer-songwriter” models of creativity, the band writes songs collaboratively and collectively in its rehearsal space – with an emphasis on songs, which, in a word, is the Prosaics’ modus operandi. To write, perform, and record powerful, well-crafted songs, devoid of extraneousness, is the band’s foremost aim.

Andy Comer (guitar, vocals), William Kuehn (drums), and Joshua Zucker (bass) came together serendipitously in early 2002. Andy (born and raised in Louisville, KY) and Joshua (from Baltimore, MD) had each spent the better part of their four years in NYC searching in vain for like-minded, like-handed musical collaborators. After hundreds of increasingly desperate flyers, phone calls, e-mails, newspaper ads, and traumatic get-togethers (Andy once arrived at a meeting to find his prospective colleague “slapping” away at a six-stringed, fretless Carl Thompson bass) the two were introduced by a mutual friend, met at Joshua’s apartment with instruments in tow, and instantly clicked. A cassette of their rough song-sketches made its way (with ample help from Joshua) into the hands of Madison, WI-born drummer William Kuehn. The three met one February afternoon at a rehearsal space and emerged after dark, resolved to work together.

Within three months of the group’s July debut performance at now-defunct East Village venue Brownie’s, the Prosaics’ emotionally urgent sound had attracted a burgeoning audience and earned the band enthusiastic coverage in national publications such as W magazine (October 2002), with New York magazine (September 30, 2002) designating the trio one of New York City’s “25 Best New Bands.” Prosaics also caught the eyes and ears of New York’s luminary acts: the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Liars invited the group on an October Midwestern U.S. tour, and the Rapture brought the Prosaics to the United Kingdom for several April 2003 dates. The band returned to the UK in August for another series of live shows, culminating in performances at the Reading and Leeds festivals, and ventured to Reykjavík in October for an appearance at the 2003 Iceland Airwaves festival.

The group is currently writing and rehearsing new material and preparing for a busy and exciting upcoming year.

- Sandor Krasna

“Prosaics play a brief, agitated set of music bristling with pent-up power and internalized perplexity -- the sort that promises their listeners something to ponder in this moment and for time to come. The thesis of their sound is built around machine-gun bass lines, forged by the electrolytic stylings of Zucker, creating a firing squad backdrop for Kuehn's combative drumming and the surprise attack of Comer's guitar. But don't let these violent analogies confuse you. While their speedy and exacting music could easily background the frenetic anarchism that often runs amok in the genre, Comer's vocals give the music an isolated sweetness and, dare I say, a peace.

“In this way, Prosaics' music brazes styles against one another more than it blends them -- and their stage presence embodies this mission. Comer, who sings with his eyes closed as if he's channeling spirits, is a foil to Zucker, whose body jive suggests that he's receiving 10,000 volts directly from his bass. Kuehn, behind his drum set, centers their binaries with clockwork momentum and monster fortitude. The audience, in kind, mirrors what they see on stage, resulting in a mélange of solemn thinkers and body jackers, some wavering between one or the other, but all determined to internalize the spectacle.” – Devon Powers, Pop Matters

“It’s the coldest New York night in years, but the only shivers inside Sin-é are being generated by the hot-shit band on stage. The Prosaics, the city’s next great band, are blasting their way through a beautiful set, kicking off a three-week Thursday night residency at this club, and they look and sound like they’re ready to melt glaciers…” – Andy Wang, New York Press