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Trauma Cat are equal parts band and absurdist performance art troupe. Hailing from Syracuse,
New York, they call themselves “America’s sorriest power trio” — at once a superlative and a
self-own befitting of the strange, tongue-in-cheek musicians at the group’s core.
Co-fronted by guitarist Ralph Kojig and bassist Roman Pando with drummer Rutger DiBoyere,
Trauma Cat’s sound is the bastard child of Cake and Tool, or a modern American answer to
XTC — a collage of art rock and progressive rock with shades of post-punk, shoegaze, and
powerpop. Lyrically, Kojig’s and Pando’s songs often reflect on religion, death, and the internet.
Trauma Cat self-released their debut album, Prepare to Apologize, in 2021. Co-produced by the
band and the mysterious St. Julian P. Dingus, the record marked the arrival of the trio as an
ambitious DIY act to watch. Indie critics cited the band’s sense of humor and technical skill,
calling the album “an irreverent and eclectic gem” (NYSMusic) with “detailed lyricism and
dynamic instrumental soundscapes” (BuzzMusic). The record, NYSMusic continues, introduced
listeners to Trauma Cat’s “hilarious take on the music biz” with a persona evoking “a
combination of punk pioneers Devo and Saturday morning cartoon favorites Josie and the
In late 2022, following the release of five new singles and a satirical online “dox-u-series” called
The Truth About Trauma Cat, the band dropped their sophomore effort, The Truth Doesn’t Live
Here. Once again marrying biting sarcasm with a potent sadness and classic prog chops, the
19-track epic is Trauma Cat doubling down on their genre-defying, “so-weird-it-works” brand of
writing and production.
Today, the band are quickly drawing the attention of music fans and promoters alike with their
theatrical live performances that transcend typical rock show fare in favor of an unpredictable,
irony-tinged multimedia experience.