Cheatahs

Cheatahs

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Five years after releasing their first recordings, the Cheatahs have taken their own sweet time making their first full-length album, but the band's self-titled debut album was most certainly worth the wait: if some indie rock follower is still waiting for the Great Lost Shoegaze Album to be released in the 21st century, Cheatahs deserves that honorific as well as anything you could name. On these sessions, guitarists Nathan Hewitt and James Wignall evoke vast clouds of guitar sound, with banks of textured noise floating through like fog rolling in from the distance while the leads drift overhead, alternately ringing like bells and howling like beasts. The production (by the band) and engineering (by bassist Dean Reid) make the most of the banks of guitars, giving them a sound that's rich and saturated in echo, while the insistent throb of Reid's bass and the crash of Marc Raue's drums bob up and down through this music like waves on the ocean, with keyboards and loops adding subtle washes of color. This is music that sounds like the missing link between the noisy dreamscapes of My Bloody Valentine and the resinous assault of classic Dinosaur Jr., and at its best the group's songwriting is on a par with its influences; if this isn't quite full of immediate classics like "Only Shallow" and "Freak Scene," "Kenworth," "Northern Exposure," and "Fall" are much more than just frameworks for guitar abuse and will ring in your head hours after the album is over. Vast, clamorous, and curiously beautiful, Cheatahs recalls a time and place that isn't necessarily 2014, but does so with such skill and élan you'd be a fool not to meander through time and space with these sounds.

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