BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Of all the ‘90s bands reconstituting themselves for new albums and/or retirement fund tours, Austin’s Cherubs is one of the most unexpected. Sure enough, though, the ATX noise rock legend quietly came back together (the only thing the trio ever did quietly) for 2 Ynfynyty, its third LP and first since 1994’s Heroin Man.
To say the band picks up where it left off isn’t quite accurate, as 2 Ynfynyty is as much evolution as continuation. Somewhere along the way guitarist/yeller Kevin Whitley (who formerly thumped the skins for fellow travelers Ed Hall), bassist Owen McMahon and drummer Brent Prager rediscovered the joys of rock melody. “Party Ice” and “So Jellified” boast catchy hooks underneath the scree, while “Monkey Chow Mein” and “Cumulo Nimbus” sound almost lush in their psychedelic ambience.
But this interest in tunefulness doesn’t mean the band has gotten weak – far from it, as the screeching “Crashing the Ride” and the pounding “We Buy Gold” noisily prove. It’s not unusual for bands that trade on abrasion to mellow out as its members mature. Fortunately, Cherubs hasn’t mellowed its approach on 2 Ynfynyty so much as refined it.
DOWNLOAD: “Party Ice,” “Cumulo Nimbus,” “We Buy Gold”