SATURDAY

If the Apes had hit it big in the early ’60s, Jimi Hendrix might have played an organ. If the band had debuted its crushing rhythms and eerie melodies sometime before Chuck Berry picked up his ax, the D.C.-based quartet could have saved us from such longstanding annoyances as air guitar and people who think “Layla” is a classic. But alas, it wasn’t until 2001 that the Apes bludgeoned critics into submission with the release of their full-length debut, The Fugue in the Fog. Music nerds dubbed the band’s guitar-free sound “creepy,” “chunky,” and “shrieking”—in a good way, of course. The Apes haven’t retreated an inch on Street Warz. Lead vocalist Paul Weil, organist Amanda Kleinman, drummer Jeff Schmid, and bassist Erick Jackson are still hellbent—on what I’m not exactly sure. Whatever it is, they’re not interested in breaking up their grinding momentum with peaceful interludes. No slow-dance numbers here. No singalongs, either. Only head-bobbers, body-slammers, and blood-curdling screamers. If the Apes have a point to make, it’s about consistency, about being relentless, about not sucking up. About kicking your ass and making you say “Thank you” afterward. When you listen to the Apes, it’s on their terms, ’cause they’re not here to please you with some corny-ass hook. After the Apes fall silent, you may feel invigorated. You may feel violated. Either way, you can shake the band off only with a good dose of sunlight. Better to stay in the dark and listen again. The Apes play with the Dismemberment Plan and Ms. Spice & the Malenium Band at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $10. (202) 667-7960. (Annys Shin)