Locals Only Spotlight: Traum Cat “CMND CTRL”

Trauma Cat are an independent power trio based in the post-industrial hellscape of Syracuse, New York, USA, comprising Ralph Kojig (guitar and vocals), Roman Pando (bass and vocals), and Rutger DiBoyere (drums).

Though critics speculate on the band’s true origin and the meaning of their existence, Trauma Cat are widely credited as the founders of “cuck rock,” an indeterminate school of music indebted to incessant apology and shameless cross-genre appropriation. Others have described Trauma Cat’s sound as “uncomfortable art rock,” and their politics as “alt-wrong.”

In late 2020, Trauma Cat released two singles, “Drunk Shark” and “Nostradamus,” sparking minimal, though spirited, public interest. Denizens of Syracuse wondered if the trio were some kind of threatening simulation, while denizens of the internet merely shrugged and added the songs to several of their poorly curated playlists.

Trauma Cat wrapped up 2020 with another single, the bicurious bop “Joshua,” and a childhood-crushing Christmas song called “There’s No Such Thing (A Holiday Song).” Then, in 2021, after releasing two more singles — the prog-appropriating “Fire in the Jail” and powerpop apologist’s anthem “Freaks With Wings” — the trio announced their forthcoming debut album, “Prepare to Apologize.”

Due on April 24, 2021, “Prepare to Apologize” — co-produced by the band and the elusive St. Julian P. Dingus — is sure to be a polarizing work. Some press is already heralding the 15-track epic as “insufferable,” “disorienting,” and “a progressive, well-conceived, and downright moving masterpiece of outsider pop.”

“We’re so sorry to be releasing our first full-length,” said Kojig in an exclusive interview with The Daily Cuckold. “To have written such a cerebral record in as little time as we did, with zero external backing, is a great shame with which we must reside forever.”

Added Pando, “Unfortunately, we did put a lot of work into the album, so much that we ultimately decided our only fitting punishment for doing so would be to release and promote it recklessly. We’re sorry.”

Rutger DiBoyere, a mute, shook his head in shame.


Check out the single “CMND CTRL” every night this week at 6:05PM EST on 95X!