Advertise with The Big Takeover
The Big Takeover Issue #94
MORE News >>
Subscribe to The Big Takeover


Shop our Big Takeover store for back issues, t-shirts & CDs

Follow us on Instagram

Follow The Big Takeover

Cloakz - "El Zero" (Mint 400)

12 June 2024

Philly indie rockers CLOAKZ just shared “El Zero,” the first single from their upcoming Control Program LP, which is set for release in August, 2024. Following their 2022 single “Head FX,” and 2018 EP Semi-Autographic, “El Zero” amps up the band’s brand of hazy psych-pop with big, sludgy guitars, searing synth leads and a hook-heavy double lead vocal courtesy of front person Zac Ciancaglini and keyboardist/vocalist S. Catoe, who joined the band in early 2020.

The song’s chorus, “I am a goddamn animal / I have no program for control,” lays out the album’s theme of struggling to find control in an increasingly chaotic world. “The initial songwriting seeds and ideas started coming together for me right after my first kid was born in 2020, not long after COVID shut the world down and just fully wiped out anything that felt familiar or secure,” Ciancaglini says. “I kept finding myself thinking, ‘Can someone please just build a goddamn program that can run everything for me?’”

“El Zero” hints at a bright new direction for the band, boasting a sound that’s both heavier and poppier, with shimmering production and a vocal-heavy mix. It’s also the first release to feature the full live band—which features members of Looser, Heavy Shrug and Flatwaves—including Tony Aquilino on bass and vocals, James Keary on guitar, Greg Foran on drums, and S. Catoe on keys and vocals.

Control Program was recorded through most of 2023 at Russell Street Recording with Alex Lipsen, Uniform Recording with Jeff Ziegler, and Ciancaglini’s own South Philly basement studio over the course of “many, many late nights and about 6,000 Miller Lites,” Ciancaglini said, noting that recording in a South Philly row home basement provided some unique challenges. “When we were getting close to finishing tracking and could really see the light at the end of the tunnel, my neighbor had a sewage line crack open and leak the most foul odor imaginable into my basement for weeks,” he said. “We were just so ready to get this record done, though, so we had to power through with lots of scented candles and very shallow breathing.”

The record was mixed by Alex Lipsen and mastered by Joe Lambert. It comes out via Mint 400 Records on August 16. You can catch the band live throughout the month of August, with dates in Brooklyn and New Jersey, and a hometown release show in Philly on August 25 at Johnny Brenda’s.

Visit CLOAKZ on the web via their Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and their official website