Album Review Cheatahs - Cheatahs

Derivative, it may well be. But, it’s also really well done.

If you’ve ever wondered why dogs stick their heads out of the car window then have a listen to ‘Geographic’ by Cheatahs. Then you’ll know. Know the undeniably joyous feeling of dipping your face into a whooshing jet stream of guitars that leaves you lolling your tongue at the world like a sedated Miley Cyrus.

But for anyone brought up in the 90s that won’t necessarily be a new experience. Anyone who has taken mass at a cathedral of sound will know that wind tunnel effect pretty well. Cheatahs seem intent on revisiting that decade, metaphorically gazing at their shoes through locks of peroxide blonde hair while tucking in their plaid shirts and muttering about a Ride reunion.

Revivalist, undoubtedly. They’ve even got the temerity to be revivalist of themselves - ‘The Swan’ appears here having already appeared on their SANS EP from late 2012. Derivative, it may well be. But, it’s also really well done.

The aforementioned ‘Geographic’ has lovely fluidity to it, reminiscent of the better parts of DIIV’s ‘Oshin’. The way the deliciously wafty verses of ‘Mission Creep’ bleed into the harder edges of the chorus is great and it’s easy to see why they’d want to send ‘The Swan’ back around for another go. It’s a fuzzy delight, with a triumphant guitar line and a militaristic drum roll introducing each chorus.

‘The Swan’ is also the poppiest moment of the album, offering a bit of variation. Something that the second half of the album suffers from a lack of. It gets very samey, phased guitars squalling, pounding beat propelling, dreamy whispering vocal: all very My Bloody Valentine. It’s never boring, the dynamism of the tracks means they all have a sense of motion. It’s just, after a while, there doesn’t seem to be a destination in mind. A bit like heading out on a desert road trip with some incredibly enthusiastic companions, only to find after five hours of relentless travel that no one brought a map.

 

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