Formed by singer, guitarist and former Washington DC resident Mark Phillips, Cheater was created for the sake of waking up their native Santa Monica, California. With their use of speed, three chord aggression and hook ridden breakdown, Ben Collete (bass) and Dennis McGivern (guitar) aided in the Cheater line-up before their debut EP Experience All The Hate came out in 1998. Following a deal with Theologian Records that same year, the band hitched temporary drummer Chris Webb (One Hit Wonder) to record the full-length Home Is Where The Heart Is, which was also released in 1998. Soon after its release, Jamie Harris eventually filled in on drums and permanently settled Cheater's line-up.
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