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Chicago's Cougars formed in 2000 from remainders of local ska-ish heroes Hot Stove Jimmy. Eight dudes strong, their lineup included vocalist Matt Irie, keyboardist Sam Ambrosini, and guitarists Brett Meingasner and John Mclurg; a rhythm section of Bryan Bienias (bass) and Brian Wnukowski (drums, ex-Big'n); and horn players Mark Beening (trumpet) and Jeff Vidmont (sax). A huge sound was necessary to validate so many mouths to feed on tour, so Cougars opted for a trashy, slutty stumble of Jesus Lizard noise, tickled with sick humor and occasional melodic accessibility. The full-length debut Nice, Nice appeared from Go Kart in October 2003; the band issued the Manhandler EP via Chicago imprint Thick the following May. Tours with types like Pigmy Love Circus and Supersuckers followed. ~ Johnny Loftus