Release Date: Feb 23, 2015
Record label: PIAS
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
London-based shoegazers Cheatahs impressed with their debut self-titled album in 2014, which came after years of EPs and the slow release of material while the bandmembers toured with other projects like Male Bonding, Weird Dreams, and Screaming Tea Party, yet Cheatahs have taken priority for frontman Nathan Hewitt with 2015’s EP Sunne. Continuing where they left off with Cheatahs, the My Bloody Valentine-inspired dreamy palette of expansive guitars and soft vocals pulsate through “Controller,” which is awash with reverb and delay. The title track evokes otherworldly sounds with a droning tape effect providing a backdrop for the floating melodies that twist together and pull apart as the song unravels into swells of noise and an unexpectedly melodic chorus.
A band capable of disarming versatility, Cheatahs’ ‘Sunne EP’ comes more as a kiss than a punch. Starting with ‘Sunne’, the London-via-the-world shoegazers launch into something that takes nods to Big Troubles as much as it does s/t era My Bloody Valentine, with a subversive chord pattern led by a tremolo heavy lead, merging into a serene verse, sung almost in a whisper by Nathan Hewitt. There are other reference points; fans of Yo La Tengo will enjoy this EP sonically and structurally.
Considering the long, dreamlike scope of shoegaze and the generally lofty artistic aspirations of those who purvey it, it’s a wonder that the genre really mixes with the EP format; it seems contradictory to the whole ‘journey’, having all that wooze and shimmer snapped away from you after only four or five tracks. In theory, the practice is a crass attempt to lure listeners into a state of otherworldliness under false pretences, and people would be right in staging a worldwide boycott of shoegaze EPs, threatening further direct action until the instrumental passages of each offending record is extended until the collection can reach a solid 45 minutes. But such theoretical boycotts would tarnish such masterpieces as You Made Me Realise, Scaror Play, and the newly imposed sanctions would no doubt prove unpopular because, somehow, despite the abstraction of the genre lending itself to a longer listen, the shoegaze EP often works.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. The perpetual, 'better-in-my-day' sentiment still hangs over contemporary rock music, yet younger music fans crave innovation and creativity in their new bands more than ever, forming an almost impossible balancing act between the nostalgic and the innovative. That's not to say that there isn't room for the revivalist, though, for the old dude at the Christmas party telling everyone about their favourite guitar setting on Loveless.
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