Release Date: Oct 30, 2015
Record label: Wichita Recordings
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Noise Pop, Shoegaze
For a band that spent its first five years years embarking on an elongated voyage of self-discovery, Cheatahs have sure-as-hell made up for lost time. Having put out their self-titled debut last year to a wave of critical acclaim, they've followed it up 18 months later with a record that doesn't just raise the bar, but also suggests they're a band whose capabilities hold no boundaries. While some of the reference points contained within Cheatahs still exist - most notably Nathan Hewitt's louche vocal delivery that recalls Swervedriver's Adam Franklin or a less frazzled J Mascis - there's a new found willingness to experiment throughout Mythologies' 13 pieces.
Multi-national shoegaze unit Cheatahs' latest dials down the volume for a psychedelic, textured sound that's a leap forward from their already-impressive debut album. Listeners who prefer things loud need not worry, however—there are still tracks (particularly the one-two punch of "Colorado" and "Su-pra") with distortion that'll rattle teeth. (www.cheatahs.net) .
Like the animal their name plays on, Cheatahs do not hang around. Just over a year after releasing their eponymous debut album, the London-based quartet are back with the follow up, Mythologies. Then again, considering their first LP, which saw the band dalliance with shoegaze and grunge rock sounds, was met largely with glowing reports, it is far from surprising that they would want to build on that success.
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.
Edmonton native Nathan Hewitt has been steadily releasing EPs for the last few years through his band Cheatahs, making waves and establishing a name in Britain's shoegaze scene. Their latest album, Mythologies, further develops the group's sound following their self-titled 2014 debut. Lined with sonic nods to bands such as the Strokes and Deerhunter, Mythologies guides us through a fuzz-laden, reverberating tundra.
Mythologies is London quartet Cheatahs' second full-length in as many years, and that doesn't take into account the armload of singles and EPs they've produced since beginning as a solo project of frontman Nathan Hewitt in 2009. The group is still mining the sounds of the early '90s for inspiration (particularly shoegaze and American indie rock bands such as Dinosaur Jr. ), but this time out there's a bit more emphasis on atmosphere and texture, with trippy production effects such as backwards vocals on display.
Nu-shoe meets Perthedelia, at last. With Ride and Lush reunions currently surfing the sonic skywaves into the glistening new shoegaze dawn on boards made of cumulonimbus (or something), it was about time the nu-shoe wave started mingling their early-90s cathedrals (well, more often Presbyterian leisure centres) of sound with the psych magic of the cobberdelia movement emerging from Perth acts like Tame Impala and Pond. ADVERTISINGinRead invented by Teads .
Cheatahs’ second album is full of the same things that established their sound on their first. Mythologies features walls of hazy guitars (and sometimes synths) that create an aural fog over songs that are alternately catchy or abstract. All of the comparisons to early-‘90s shoegaze and alternative guitar bands are easy to make: Dinosaur, Jr., The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine (of course) and even Sonic Youth all serve as familiar sonic touchstones.
Although this London-based, multinational band declare their love for the likes of Aphex Twin, Actress and Oneohtrix Point Never, and have protested against being classed as a shoegaze band in the past, there’s definite fuzz lineage evident in their music. The low in the mix vocals, the reverb tinged atmospherics - they even release four track EPs, like all self-respecting shoegaze bands did back in the early ‘90s. Cheatahs are a rock band, they’re much more direct, but if you are a fan of shoegaze, you will love what Cheatahs have come up with on their second album.