Writers’ block is clearly not a worry for Cheatahs. While ‘Mythologies’ might mark only their second full-length, between this and last year’s self-titled debut the trio have released two transitional EPs – ‘Sunne’ and Murasaki’ – that perfectly illustrated their penchant for studio time. It’d be easy to assume that their creative wells might be beginning to run dry, but on the contrary, ‘Mythologies’ showcases a band still bubbling with ideas and harbouring a mad-scientist approach to experimentation.
While that ‘shoegaze’ tag might be the genre-du-jour for the current wave of baggy-wardrobed 90s revivalists, Cheatahs’ realm of influence extends much further than their pedalboards. Elements of Britpop brattiness poke through in Nathan Hewitt’s scorned vocals during ‘Freak Wave’, but it’s juxtaposed with ‘Signs To Lorelai’, which pairs delicate harmonics with a watercolour backdrop of lush synth-work. It’s a record that relishes in these multiple personalities, darting between guises with aplomb.
While things are of course tied together with that familiar, sprawling, heady fuzz, it’s testament to Cheatahs’ abilities that things rarely feel sludgy or samey. Admittedly, a bit of fat trimming might have helped ‘Mythologies’ pack a firmer punch, but there’s a fine-toothed melody throughout which helps carve a path through all the smog - ‘Seven Sisters’’ Madchester bounce in particular a welcome addition.
Never sitting still or dwelling on their influences for too long, the third incarnation of Cheatahs in 2015 have harnessed the hyperactivity of their release schedule, channelling it into a collection of tracks that houses some of their strongest moments to date. Thank god we won’t have to wait long for the next step.