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Be­fore the Ba­bies If you look at a band like, say, you would a bas­ket­ball team, you’d find that the Cheats uti­lize all their team’s play­ers’ skills to the hilt. Drum­mer Enzo Her­moza and bassist Manny Tanglao are a for­mi­da­ble rhythm sec­tion show­cas­ing tight in­ter­lock­ing grooves that form the back­bone; guitarists Mau Tor­ralba, Ja­son Ca­balla, and Kyle Quis­mundo weave in and out, com­ple­ment­ing each other; and the voices of Saab Ma­ga­lona, Candy Gamos, and Jim Bacarro, each one tak­ing turns on lead or meld­ing beau­ti­ful three­part har­monies to­gether. All of these el­e­ments in tan­dem make Cheats one of my fa­vorite teams, I mean bands… to­day.

North­ern Man

Cathar­sis of the Mind EP “Too weird to live, but much too rare to die.” This was the only in­for­ma­tion that greeted me when I first got on North­ern Man’s sound­cloud page—a state­ment that au­to­mat­i­cally piqued my in­ter­est. The fourpiece psy­che­delic band whose aptly ti­tled new EP Cathar­sis of the Mind is ex­actly that, a sonic cleans­ing of the mind. Its high­light is the at­mo­spheric “Low Pi,” a track that me­an­ders along with swirly gui­tars and oth­er­worldly at­mo­spher­ics, but also man­ag­ing to chan­nel un­likely in­spi­ra­tions like Shug­gie Otis in the process of its jour­ney, which is a high com­ple­ment I can give any song.


Re­muda Tri­an­gle On the band’s fourth re­lease Re­muda Tri­an­gle, the dan­ger­ous five-piece is once again ahead of the curve, much like it did in the mid-2000s when its de­but all but made “Disco Punk” part of the lo­cal mu­sic ver­nac­u­lar. Be warned, though, Disco Punk, this is not. It’s an al­bum that feels equally as chal­leng­ing as it is easy to one’s ears. Merg­ing ex­per­i­men­tal sound­scapes and fuzzy gui­tars with earth­shat­ter­ing grooves that tap into our pri­mal urge to dance. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously cre­at­ing a feel­ing of com­fort that you know where all this is go­ing, un­til they pull the rug from un­der you. Pedi­cab’s best and most fully re­al­ized al­bum yet.

The Gory Or­gies

Gonzo Blitz When I hear a band whose sen­si­bil­i­ties, mu­si­cally or oth­er­wise, kind of mir­ror mine, I ob­vi­ously get ex­cited. Mu­sic made by young self-aware peo­ple try­ing to usurp the old fo­gies like my­self and fi­nally get rid of them once in for all. I prob­a­bly made all that all up—but yeah, that’s ex­actly how I felt the first time I heard the band. Part Pave­ment, part Beef­heart and Mod­est Mouse in spots, and a bit of The Fall thrown in for good mea­sure. If only this old fart knew what “smeg­ma­core” meant, maybe I could still be spared, but alas… do your­selves a fa­vor and lis­ten to these guys and you can thank me later.

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