Release date: 07.02.14
Label Wichita Recordings
Cheatahs first burst onto the scene in 2012 with their punchy Coarded EP, reminiscent of the works of shoegaze pioneers My Bloody Valentine and quintessential American grunge rockers Dinosaur Jr. Latter single The Swan saw the young London band achieve moderate airplay and plenty of hype for the release of their full-length debut. Here it arrives at last, in the form of Cheatahs, a self-titled LP largely reflective of the bands previous works, but remaining a highlight of the year’s debut rock releases.
I opens the album, a short instrumental number that sets a distorted tone and is an early indicator for what’s in store for the rest of the album. Geographic swiftly follows, and immediately establishes itself as one of the album’s strongest tracks. Alongside the frenzy of guitars, the use of synthesisers in tracks such as Cut The Grass and Mission Creep is reminiscent of the latter output of the Horrors, and are tracks best showcased when switched up loud. Yet despite the similarities, Cheatahs remains a distinguished record in its own right. Soaring, distorted guitars, chiming riffs and powerful drumming combine to make frantic yet melodic tracks that set the band apart from their alternative rock contemporaries.
Front man Hewitt’s vocals are strong throughout, baring resemblance to the works of fellow grunge rockers Wavves. Most of the lyrics are hard to distinguish amongst the distortion of guitars and synthesisers, presenting perhaps the biggest obstacle to those unfamiliar with the genre. In this respect, the resemblance of tracks such as IV and Fall to the pioneer shoegaze record Loveless by My Bloody Valentine is striking, and it remains apparent where Cheatahs gained some of their inspiration.
That being said, there is enough to this album to set it apart, and it will be interesting to see how the tracks translate live in the bands upcoming UK tour. Without a doubt Cheatahs remain one to watch, and their debut should no doubt excite fans of the genre.
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