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Cheeto's Magazine - Amazingous CD (album) cover

AMAZINGOUS

Cheeto's Magazine

 

Crossover Prog

4.12 | 66 ratings

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Kempokid
5 stars Modern prog in the vein of metal has always been somewhat of an issue to me, with so many bands either sounding like Dream Theater or Animals As Leaders/Periphery clones, either uneccesarily dramatic, or simply very similar to all the other dark, gloomy, highly technical bands out there, doing little to separate themselves from the crowd. To this, there are of course exceptions however, enter Cheetos Magazine, a band that if nothing else, is wonderfully refreshing, but oh boy is it something else. While remaining firmly in prog territory, with longer songs with many shifts and solos throughout, I haven't heard such upbeat, fun music in absolutely ages. The best way I can think of to describe this band's aesthetic is that of some sort of twisted children's entertainment, further accentuated by the brightly coloured album art and goofy vocals. There's a very defined 80s feel that everything has, with over the top synths and a very cheery, almost glam rock vibe in places.

Chili Guillermo is an amazingly energetic piece with sweeping keyboard and synth lines that simply explode right from the get go, the song barely letting up as quirky vocal lines are belted out, backed up by a bouncy melody from the backing vocals. Of all the songs on the album, this one is definitely the one that I've had the strongest urge to just start singing whenever I listen to it, especially with the short, yet absolutely wonderful chorus, such a short melodic line beng so perfectly catchy. This song never fails to put a smile on my face, as it's just the perfect blend of melody, power, and an incredibly happy tone. Cheese Cheater is a slightly less bombastic song, but instead has a more quirky edge to edge, most clearly seen during the short break into a reggae style beat before kicking it back into high gear. The song becomes even better in the second half once the tone and melody completely shifts into more metallic, proggy territory, while still maintaining its sense of fun. I also must commend the vocalist of the band for being able to pull off so many different sounding voices, as I genuinely thought for the first few listens that the band had multiple vocalists. Outflow honestly took me quite a few listens to get into, since the song in general was quite a bit less insane than the previous two. That said, even upon first listening, I still found the little "Trompeto" skit to be extremely charming, and still find it to be so. Once the song quietens down even further, falling completely into ballad territory, the song reminds me firmly of something that would be a long lost Disney song, which works exceptionally here, despite the fact that by all accounts, I wouldn't expect it to.

The songs after this point become somewhat less progressive for a bit, while still maintaining enough complexity to remain highly interesting. Ready To Rumble is just an incredibly fun glam rock-esque track, and another one that's a ton of fun to sing along to, especially repeatedly screaming out "shut up!". It has some twists and turns, but it's really this opening part that strikes true for me, simply for being so wonderfully fun and catchy. Close Your Eyes starts out very softly and pleasantly before slightly picking up, evoking a very strong image of a beautiful sunny day, especially with the bouncy bass and trumpets. The song never hits the same heights as anything else on the album, but instead relies on a larger aspect of beauty, especially with the layers upon layers of vocals. Scum is an instrumental focused track, and the closest thing to a darker sounding track on this album, with some very sparse moments led by a quiet, mysterious sounding bass, playing a tune reminiscient of old detective movies, before breaking out into some pure prog metal territory with a surprisingly heavy, djenty riff, which is then nicely contrasted with some bright sounding keyboards. A.W.K.W.A.R.D is another contender for my favourite song on this album, being by far the most complex song here, shifitng between so many different sections in an almost manic fashion, each part being more amazing than the last, until it all climaxes in a part equal parts awesome and goofy. I personally recommend that you watch the official music video for this song as well, as it's a drug trip and a half, and I personally find that it elevates the song to even greater heights by sheer fact of how insane it is. Speaking of insane, even after all this varied, well composed music, Cheetos Magazine then decides to further one up itself by ending the album with a 25 minute song, one which I'm very glad to say, is absolutely great. While I won't go too far into detail, due to the incredible length and scope of it, this is where the band goes into full prog mode, with a range of influences ranging from symphonic, to techno, to a lot in between, one of my favourite moments being where the music briefly cuts out in the intro before quickly fading back in and becoming so much more intense. Unlike a lot of other songs that approach this length, there isn't any time within the song that feels wasted, with regular changes that stick within the identity of the song, yet define themselves enough to add some amazing variety to it, changing at breakneck pace to uphold the diversity present here, making 25 minutes feel like mere moments.

This album was a big surprise to me, I went in expecting an amusing novelty band, but ended up finding an absolute gem. Few albums manage to evoke such a strong, childlike joy within me, one that causes me to want to just break out into song and madly pump my fists up in the air, it's honestly amazing. This is so far my choice for album of the year, and this is taking albums like the new Devin Townsend release into consideration, but even so, none match how refreshing I find this album in what tends to be a stagnant sea of modern prog metal.

Best songs: Chili Guillermo, A.W.K.W.A.R.D, Big Boy

Weakest songs: none

Verdict: This is one of the most enjoyable albums I've heard in quite a while, and I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for something bright and cheery, if you're fine with some synths that can be kinda cheesy at points. I didn't expect to like this album as much as I did.

Kempokid | 5/5 |

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