Extended Plays

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Openly referencing the sounds of Britain's "Madchester" scene, Canadian musician Nathan Hewitt, the mastermind behind Cheatahs, recorded two EPs in London in 2012 with the help of his bandmates James Wignall, Dean Reid, and drummer Marc Raue. Both four-song outings are excellently executed, and give no hints that they were recorded anytime after the 2000s. Additionally, you would never know that Hewitt is a member of the indie punk group Male Bonding. Filled with bright guitars and ethereal vocals, the songs on the first, Marshall Teller Records EP, Coared (compiled in tracks five through eight), come closer to connecting with the British psych pop sounds of Wignall's alternate band, Weird Dreams. The hooky rush of American groups like the Lemonheads and Dinosaur Jr. also comes into play on these slightly sweeter moments, whereas their second EP (for Wichita Recordings), SANS, is just a touch hairier, and delves into shoegaze with thick walls of silky vocals and brittle, driving guitar washes to manipulate their melodies into a noisy but sonically interesting headphone experience. Early albums by Sloan and the Swirlies might be a reference point for these first four tracks. While there are subtle recording variances, the two EPs sit well together, and despite being uptempo with blasts of distortion, Extended Plays feels like an easy, breezy listen from beginning to end. Fans of early-'90s alternative radio should be sure to check out the songs "Coared," "The Swan," and "Fountain Park." These hit the golden age of slacker pop right on the mark.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
4:26 Amazon
4:12 Amazon
2:34 Amazon
2:49 Amazon
3:49 Amazon
2:02 Amazon
3:42 Amazon
3:01 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick