Immaculada High (Relapse)
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Aug. 9, 2019
Hair turns gray, skin wrinkles, metabolisms slow, but some human facets never get old. Case in point: the wild-eyed, playful spite of Cherubs. If 2 Ynfynyty, the Austin post-punk trio's 2015 comeback after two decades of retirement, served as notice that middle age hadn't dulled the band, Immaculada High proves its psychedelic noise more potent than ever. Vanguard track "Turista" leads the way by laying waste to its surroundings like a battering ram with a rusty gyroscope. "Sooey Pig" moves from caffeinated dash to heroin crawl, oozing vibes of entropic extinction via the anamorphic decay of guitarist Kevin Whitley and the lugubrious thump of drummer Brent Prager. Hints of classic rock leak from "Full Regalia" and "IMCG" before quickly succumbing to corruption. Bassist Owen McMahon usually doubles Whitley, giving the grating riffs a burly power that never melts into incomprehensibility. For all the violence on tap here, however, the songs emit little true malice. Cherubs look around their world and roll their collective eyes, but there's a cheerful wave to the band's destruction – the what-do-you-expect rumble of a charging rhino rather than the malevolent precision of a panzer strike. Immaculada High finds Cherubs more interested in shaking civilization up than burning it down.