Cheeto’s Magazine – Amazingous

[Self-released, 2019]

Intro: Dimitris Kaltsas
Translation: Lefteris Statharas
29 / 05 / 2019

When Cheeto’s Magazine released their debut album entitled Boiling Fowls in 2014, the reception from fans and critics was very positive, not only because it was a very good album. The Catalans presented their own version of progressive rock which, while it stands with a foot and a half within the classic version of prog sound, it sounds quite modern with their humor being quite a centerpiece of their music.

Their second album with new material was released this year entitled Amazingous and their unconventional character draws the attention once more. What exactly do the “men in tights” (that’s how they appear in their concerts) have in store for us honors them now in the prog scene. But lets start from the beginning…


 

Such humour needs to be taken seriously

If there was one element in Boiling Fowls (2014) that created reservations for the future of Cheeto’s Magazine, it was the investment in humor in comparison to the compositional part. In the end the first listen of Amazingous was enough to prove that the wait was justified and that the band has worked a lot in many sectors.

Musically, the style of the Spanish progsters has not changed a bit. The modern crossover prog with the traditional symphonic character but not with a retro result, is the same as they presented to us five years ago. The big chance, however, is in the compositional aspect and in the coherence of the songs. The flow of the album is more successful, leading to repetitive listens.

Chili Guillermo is the perfect starter, with the keys of Navarro and Lizana leading and some of the best vocal lines we have heard this year in prog. Cheese Cheater is even more catchy and proggy (yup, indeed). The familiar humor of the band dominates here and the development of the song compresses more than someone what would expect in a 6.5 minute long song, plus the beautiful guitar solo from Orella. In the same unobtrusively happy style, Outflow is as interesting, with the vocal lines still gaining attention, while the rhythm section of Marques (bass) and Sala (drums) is starring between rock and latin style. In Ready to Rumble prog rock is paradoxically and very successfully married to 80s hard rock (poser to be exact) and modern metal with the result being quite impressive. Close Your Eyes starts as a ballad and it evolves in to a Dear Hunter-meets-80s pop style which closes with a melodic and pompous way leaving questions even to the most suspicious. Scum is a necessary instrumental break that showcases the technical abilities all of the band members, right before the poppy A.W.K.W.A.R.D.  which sounds like the ideal mix of the melodic lines of Styx, the symphonic parts of Queen and the narration of the modern US crossover prog (that’s right, Dear Hunter again).

The above would be enough for any band, but not for Cheeto’s Magazine. The album ends with a 25 minute long epic that has all the space and time for the elements that constitute the mosaic of their sound to develop. The most impressive of all is not the absence of the unnecessary and overextended “atmospheric” alibies, but contrariwise, Big Boy is a dense song with a chorus, clear structure and variety that exceeds in musicality the whole carrier of many bands in the genre. Maybe some parts are less inspired than others, but the performance of the quintet is unfoundedly their peak until today. This magnum opus is enough for someone to go and see them live (because it is certain that they will play this song in every chance, they are amazing on stage).

Amazingous is not just better than the debut of Cheeto’s Magazine and one of the most interesting albums of 2019. It is the proof that melodic progressive rock can be cool, be presented with humor and simultaneously be extremely purposeful. The whole album might be full of trolling, but in the end it can inspire respect for every melody and mainly for the aesthetic result that belongs exclusively to the band. All this, under the condition that you are a progressive rock fan…

8 / 10

Dimitris Kaltsas

 

2nd opinion

 

With the amazing Amazingous, the magnificent Iberians Chetto’s Magazine continue exactly where we had left them after their debut, creating another good symphonic progressive rock album. The special elements that made them stand out from the lot of the genre, are once again apparent. More than great compositional abilities, their big attribute is the humor and the personality in which they approach a genre which seems to be stale artistically. It is very nice in 2019 to hear a band that has influences from Spock’s Beard approach their music with a relaxed mindset. Sometimes the vocal approach and the modern sound, are incorporated  imaginatively with the clear structures of the songs. The age of the band members, puts them in a spot where most of the humor is inspired by the internet and trolling. This is evident in their music without being annoying. Amazingous definitely won’t change the life of the listener, but it is definitely suggested to anyone that is looking for a refreshed approach to a genre full of artistic dinosaurs.

 

8 / 10

Kostas Barbas