Wednesday, February 19, 2014
REVIEW: Cheatahs - Cheatahs
Cheatahs are a UK shoegaze/guitar rock band, consisting of Nathan Hewitt (vocals/guitar), Marc Raue (drums), Dean Reid (bass/vocals), and James Wignall (guitar/vocals). They've gotten in touch with us three times about their music, and we've been glad to share it with our readers because their fast, roaring mix of noise, drone and heavy guitar glaze is hitting every rock button we hold dear. Last year we wrote about Extended Plays, a collection of tracks (WYMA review here), and the singles "Cut the Grass" and "Kenworth" (WYMA post here). Both of those tracks are on the album, Cheatahs, out now (Feb. 11) via Wichita Recordings.
To begin with, quoting Scott's review of Extended Plays, I can't really improve on his characterization of Cheatahs music as a "prime rock cocktail" - so just know that plenty of 90's guitar rock influences are on full display and very well-played here. The album features plenty of melody - to me, that's its strong point. There is also plenty of noise - though the drums and bass are sort of behind the guitars, there is a full-on pounding quality to the rhythm section, especially on tracks like "Geographic", which also features vocals that put me in mind of a cross between Teenage Fanclub and Swervedriver.
The band is not plowing new ground, but they certainly are playing great guitar rock. This record is a really fun listen, one that won't wear out its welcome even though you'll feel you've heard most of these sounds before.
Here's one of the more aggressive tracks, "Get Tight" - I love the layers of guitars and noise on this one:
Here's the soaring, driving guitar anthem "Fall" - the repeated background guitar figure is a beautiful touch amid all the noise:
And here's "Get Tight" - melody in the vocals, pounding drums and echoing, treated guitars throughout, plus the track length (3:25) might make this one the single. It's certainly plenty catchy:
Much like those Swervedriver and Dinosaur Jr. records this points to, I feel like this one will still sound good years from now... great guitar rock never really goes out of style, does it?
Cheatahs 2014 US tour dates:
FEB. 22 PORTLAND, OR BUNK BAR
FEB. 23 SEATTLE, WA TRACTOR TAVERN
FEB. 27 LOS ANGELES, CA THE ECHO
MAR. 1 SAN FRANCISCO, CA BRICK & MORTAR MUSIC HALL (Noisepop)
MAR. 4 BROOKLYN, NY ROUGH TRADE
MAR. 5 PHILADELPHIA, PA BOOT & SADDLE
MAR. 6 WASHINGTON, DC U STREET MUSIC HALL