Cheatahs’ self-titled debut finds the UK-based quartet working within a slim range of genre styles, but with no specific one that defines the sound of the record. Even so, there is a very familiar line that strings throughout the entire listen. Predominantly ruled by a driving, 90’s post-punk vibe, with a hint of ambient shoegaze, the guitar tones are heavy and noisy, yet comfortable like an old pair of pajamas. So while it is not necessarily innovative, it feels like they perfectly captured a sound from a bygone era while still injecting a new and unique twist that makes it sound fresher than a blatant pillaging of their influences.
Cheatahs frontman Nathan Hewitt and guitarist James Wignallmet in a Camden pub eight years ago and instantly connected, drinking and raving about their love of Seinfeld and their immense passion for Rock & Roll. Nathan had just moved to London from Edmonton, Alberta, while James, originally from Leicester, had moved to London after studying in Leeds.
Over the next six years the two would play in various bands around town until one day when Nathan asked James decided to collaborate on a few songs James had been fiddling with. Their musical connection was almost as instant as the birth of their friendship years earlier. They soon recruited two friends to fill out the lineup, producer and bassist Dean Reid, and German drummer Marc Raue.
Dean would go on to produce two quick E.P.’s for the band before a gig in east London, where they happened to meet Ben and Mark from Wichita Recordings. After a brief conversation about music, material, and the direction of the band the duo from Wichita quickly inked the band to a deal.
2013 saw the band branching out, hitting SXSW, followed by a short 6-week U.S. tour supporting Wavves, as well as appearances at Primavera, and some opening slots with Dinosaur Jr. During this busy year the band was able to write and record a full-length debut album for Wichita. They managed to escape to the countryside, isolating themselves in Cornwall at an old stone cottage,before finishing up in proper studios in Camberwall and Hackney.
Cheatahs self-titled debut represents a big creative leap from their first two E.P.’s. The album is a great example of modern guitar-based music; a wonderful blend of heavy tuned guitar riffs a la early 90’s Pumpkins, Breeders, and Creep-era Radiohead, combined with ambient drone fuzz, with lyrics dealing with disassociation, self-identity, and the complex world of relationships.
Cheatahs will be playing a few dates stateside before a slew of dates overseas:
27/02/14 Los Angeles, Echo
01/03/14 San Francisco, Brick & Mortar Music Hall
01/03/14 San Francisco, Amoeba Records
04/03/14 Brooklyn, NY, Baby’s All Right
05/03/14 Philadelphia, Boot & Saddle
06/03/14 Washington, U Street Music Hall
09/04/14 Hamburg, Hafenklang, Germany
10/04/14 Berlin, Urban Spree, Germany
11/04/14 Krakow, RE, Poland
15/04/14 Bologna, Freakout Club, Italy
16/04/14 Milan, Lo-Fi Club, Italy
18/04/14 Alicante, Sala Stereo, Spain
19/04/14 Barcelona, LA (2) Apolo, Spain
20/04/14 Dijon, Festival MU, France
23/04/14 Brussels, Botanique, Belgium
24/04/14 Nantes, Universite de Nantes, France
25/04/14 Lille, La Peniche, France
19/05/14 Amsterdam, Melkweg, Netherlands
20/05/14 Paris la Fleche d’Or France
22/05/14 Manchester, Deaf Institute
23/05/14 Glasgow, Stereo
22/06/14 Hilvarenbeek, Best Kept Secret Festival, Netherlands
09/08/14 Skipton, Beacons Festival