Somehow last year’s Extended Plays by London’s Cheatahs (which features Edmontonian Nathan Hewitt) failed to make a blip on the radar despite the fact that it completely showed up the noisy guitar pop of contemporaries Yuck. Maybe it was because the release wasn’t a proper full-length (it combined their first two EPs) and received little push but the band seem primed to make up for it with their self-titled debut album.
More indebted to ’90s shoegaze than Extended Play Cheatahs doesn’t cater solely to listeners in search of nostalgia. Sure they’ve fooled me into thinking “Geographic” was a brand new Swervedriver track and “Kenworth” a lost track from My Bloody Valentine’s Creation EPs but Cheatahs are convincing in how they mirror their influences. They sound like peers not pupils.
As well there is enough sonic muscle being flexed on should-be power pop hits like “Get Tight” and former single “The Swan” to sway anyone uninterested in the tag of nu-gazers.
Whether Cheatahs will strike gold with this album is a tough call but it deserves more respect than Extended Plays received. If it fails well at least fans of sharp melodies asphyxiated by effects pedals will have a great band to themselves.