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Cheeto's Magazine

Crossover Prog

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Cheeto's Magazine Amazingous album cover
3.94 | 171 ratings | 9 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Chili Guillermo (6:40)
2. Cheese Cheater (6:33)
3. Outflow (7:09)
4. Ready to Rumble (5:06)
5. Close Your Eyes (5:16)
6. Scum (4:48)
7. A.W.K.W.A.R.D. (3:54)
8. Big Boy (25:07) :
- I. Overture / Discovering
- II. Time For Man
- III. Surrender
- IV. Breakdown / Dying
- V. Brand New Life

Total Time: 64:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Esteban Navarro / vocals, keyboards
- Manel Orella / guitars
- Matias Lizana / keyboards, percussion
- Alex Marques / bass
- Gerard Sala / drums, percussion

Releases information

CD self-released (2019, Spain)

2LP self-released (2019, Spain)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy CHEETO'S MAGAZINE Amazingous Music

CHEETO'S MAGAZINE Amazingous ratings distribution

(171 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

CHEETO'S MAGAZINE Amazingous reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Cheeto's Magazine is a crossover prog band from Barcelona, Spain. The band typically puts on a colorful front in their shows with a bit of humor and cartoon-ish vibes. Originally, the band was a duo putting on shows with Esteban Navarro doing hijinx and vocals, keyboards and Manel Orella on guitar. To build a proper band, they later added Matia Lizana on keyboards, Alex Marques on bass and Gerard Sala on drums. But except for an EP, they never released a full album until 2014, and one other in 2017.

Early in 2019, they released their 3rd full studio album called "Amazingous". It was released on vinyl as 2 LP's, one red and one blue; on CD; and also through streaming or download on Bandcamp. Crossover Prog covers a wide variety of styles which this music does, but overall the style sounds to me like a combination of symphonic prog and eclectic prog. It sounds like if "Styx" and "Queen" got together and had a baby, this is the kind of music they would play at the birthday party.

Starting off with "Chili Guillermo", we instantly get the bright tones of keyboards and guitars and a latin rock vibe. The music is definitely progressive and quite cheerful. You get swept up instantly in the sound, making one think they are in Willy Wonka's Progressive Rock Factory. The music is as colorful as the album cover. When the vocals come in, they are a humorous operatic style, a bit over the top, but this changes to more normal vocals as it goes, and the vocals are very good, matching the mood of the rousing and exciting music. It is both fun and seriously progressive in a perfect mix.

"Cheese Cheater" continues that bright and cheery progressive vibe with keyboards establishing a happy melody. Vocals switch back and forth like a conversation with the normal and goofy vocals. This music just makes you feel good as it is very upbeat. The moods and styles change, as you would expect of this type of music, but the themes recur often so it is very cohesive. Don't worry, you also get a rocking guitar solo in here too, it's all there.

"Outflow" begins with a huge variety of synth and keyboard music changing from one sound to another quickly, including piano that anchors it all. After a happy "Styx"-like beginning, an acoustic guitar comes in retaining the beat through strumming. Again, both styles of vocals occur. Humorous vocals come in later with a latin mariachi style sound as brass instruments come in for a short time. The rhythm is definitely complex as it goes on, but you still feel like dancing to it anyway because it just makes you happy. Things finally mellow towards the middle of the track with a slower vocal passage, almost becoming a ballad of sorts. A lovely piano passage comes in and soon the band builds off of this letting the synths speed up the piano theme until things return to as before. It all ends with an excellent climax of synths.

The first three tracks hang around the 7 minute mark while the next three are around 5 minutes more or less. "Ready to Rumble" is one of those glam rock songs that wants to be a stadium rocker. It succeeds. I could see a lot of people jumping up and down and pumping fists to this one. It still retains enough progressiveness to keep it interesting, but is more interested in getting the crowd involved. It's still a lot of fun and another flat out rocking guitar solo will keep you going. "Close Your Eyes" starts as a lovely ballad, but interesting enough to not be called standard, it later moves to a fast beat with the latin flair showing up in the instrumentation. Later it moves to a stately tone as it moves back to a more serious sound, wrapping itself up in the same feel as it started, but in a more climactic way. The track is more commercial, but it is still pretty good. "Scum" is mostly instrumental, and it has a darker vibe to it as it begins, but the synths can't help but make it all sunny sounding as they come in. The guitar kicks in more heavily along with an organ later. After awhile, you are left with vocal field recordings and a sneaky bass line. Suddenly things get very heavy with a throbbing guitar riff, but again synths come in to save the day. "A.W.K.W.A.R.D." is a tricky little track at about 4 minutes. It sounds like power pop, but a bit more complex. Again, there is that Styx attitude, but Styx at its best. Remember how much you liked "The Grand Illusion"? Well, if Styx had stayed with that style, this is how they would have sounded. Except the lyrics are goofy.

For many bands, this would have been enough as you already have a 5 star album. But, Cheeto's Magazine had to go one big step further. "Big Boy" is the last track, and it has a run time of over 25 minutes. It starts with a lot of keyboard flourishes and guitar heaviness. It suddenly gets cut off, has a few glitches and then builds up quickly again to a stately section before returning to the beginning section and then vocals come in. At 5 minutes, things go minimal with a tinkling piano and a soft synth, then a new theme comes in with the vocals. "Starcastle" style guitar and synth come in and things brighten up again. Vocal riffs make this section infectious, and positive lyrics and instrumentals also make it somewhat uplifting. At ten minutes, the track takes a dark left turn and that is reflected in both lyrics and music. At thirteen minutes, there is an excellent progressive instrumental section which hangs on the heavy side a bit and meters and moods fight against each other. This is amazing-ous! Suddenly, it all stops except for a beautiful piano and vocal section. At the end of this section, there is a spoken vocal recording as things start to build again a step at a time and sung vocals become more and more intense along with the music. Then there are some really cool vocal and instrumental effects as it builds with a solid guitar riff and keyboard solo. Complexity returns with a new theme in both vocals and instrumental sections.

I am completely blown away with this album. It looked interesting from the start with the tracklist and the album cover alone, but it is everything I expected plus much more. I stand by my claim that this is how Styx should have sounded if they continued being more progressive after "The Grand Illusion". But then add in more quirkiness, both funny and serious vocals, a degree of playfulness and lots of complex music and you've got it.

Folks, what we have here is another contender for best album, and so far, it is definitely the best for February 2019. Very highly recommended, and the last epic track is worth it alone, but most of the rest of the album is just as good. This is a must hear album!

Review by Kempokid
4 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.

Review by admireArt
3 stars Following my personal quest of reviewing this year´s albums.... Cheeto's Magazine-Amazingous (2019)

I found its choral and songwriting sound in general closer to Queen´s, if Queen played alongside a kind of Rick Wakeman clone and had an average good voice frontman and came from the USA or really liked Quiet Riot or any of those 80´s bands and were Infected with the "Hard/Metal Rock Corny Ballads Syndrome" (as Queen was or any of those groups were and the "Cape-Man" himself is) and yes had some loving for Zappa´s vocal canons and humor.

Well what can I say? This release has some enjoyable sections, if not truly original or really humorous beyond the usual vocal quirks cliches, they play well with their influences. Problem is I am not a die hard Queen, Quiet Riot (or Def Lepard or any of those 80´s groups) or Rick Wakeman fan and less a corny ballads (irreverent or not) admirer, therefore this work really does not tick my bomb.

As far as comedy goes I do prefer Richard Pryor he really makes me laugh.

***3 PA stars

Review by Gerinski
4 stars Fun, fresh, happy, energetic, positive and quite original eclectic Prog from Barcelona, Spain.

Amazingous ranked #38 in the PA Collaborators Album of the Year 2019, and 7th in the Crossover category. Get ready for a lot of cheerful and whimsy surprises as you go along listening to this album. It's clear that the band don't take themselves too seriously, I had the chance to see them live and it was a lot of fun and enjoyment.

We have two keyboardists so the keyboard and synth work is particularly outstanding, not self-indulging but very good, accompanied by an energetic guitar and a solid rhythm section. The music is very varied, even within each song, from Moon Safari-like happy ballad to prog metal guitar riffs, passing through poppy sections. Easy-listening and very accessible but at the same time with plenty of complexity when you listen carefully. The closest reference I can think of is Neal Morse-era Spock's Beard.

The production is also very good for a band with probably rather limited resources. I reckon the vocals (in English) may be a bit too silly but I'm not a native English speaker so they are no problem for me.

We have 7 "short" songs (between 4 and 7 minutes long) and the final 25-minute-long epic "Big Boy". The opener "Chili Guillermo" is my favourite among the short ones, you can find the videoclip on YouTube. The other 6 short songs are also very good, as I said very varied, we have even some Latin vibes in "Outflow", a hard-rocker in "Ready to Rumble" or a darker mood in "Scum".

The tour-de-force is the 25-minute epic "Big Boy". While being also very varied it still feels cohesive and it feels shorter than what it actually is.

Highly recommended.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is probably the happiest album I've ever heard. Yes, that's saying a lot, but this whole album just radiates playfulness. They don't take themselves too seriously and it shows (in a great way). A lot of different sounds are sampled and the group is not afraid to experiment with untraditional ... (read more)

Report this review (#2283521) | Posted by rooteen | Friday, November 22, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Amazingous is an excellent album from the Spanish prog outfit, with absolutely outstanding synthesizer work, impeccable production, and great arrangements. From the band who did a prog cover of Green Day's "Basket Case", comes great tracks like the groovy "Chili Guillermo", the dance-able "Outflow", ... (read more)

Report this review (#2204654) | Posted by tempest_77 | Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A new category, Tongue-In-Cheek-Prog? Inspired by pretty contrasting words on this website I decided to search for this album on the Internet, and soon found the entire CD, then I was ready for a listening session. My first impress ... (read more)

Report this review (#2202426) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Monday, May 13, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Very nice, 'fresh' and positive album. It made me smile - 'come on Barbie , let's go party!' )) in Prog !! It's straight forward that's why some compared it to Neal Morse, yes it has this Major chord structure sometimes, but to me it's more like A.C.T at their best! 'It's so fantastic, to be pla ... (read more)

Report this review (#2165444) | Posted by Trinity S | Wednesday, March 13, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This band is really starting to grow on me. Although I first heard about this band as a sort of satirical band, perhaps even a sort of prog-as-farce element, I have given their previous releases a few listens and while I didn't feel the time wasted, I wasn't impressed too much either. Also, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2149327) | Posted by axeman | Sunday, February 24, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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