Extended Plays


Wichita Recordings, 2013


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Listening to this brought me back to the first time I heard Dinosaur Jr. I can still recall how I was left in awe at the guitars that sounded simultaneously noisy and melodic, emitting a dense layer of sugarcoated sonic, fuzzy rock. Though Cheatahs began as the solo bedroom project of Canada's Nathan Hewitt (formerly of Male Bonding), after moving to London it was fleshed out into a full band who have put out two EPs, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 SANS and Coared. Extended Plays combines both of those EPs into one cohesive album of '90s alt-rock, hazy shoegaze, and endless guitar melodies that certainly tips its hat not only to legends like J Mascis but also Ride or even My Bloody Valentine.

“The Swan” opens up with arena rock loud guitars and charged, forceful rhythms. The vocals reel you in, as does the ultra melodic music that's heavy on the distortion. “Sans” is a similar song, just as catchy, instantly memorable and a tad crunchier with a post-grunge feel. The remaining two songs from the SANS EP, “Fountain Park” and “Flake,” are very much aligned with early '90s alt-rock before it was watered down by the mainstream. The last half of the album, the Coared EP tracks, is just a tad more Brit-rock influenced; “Jacobi” and “Ripper” sound more like their now England home, the former bringing to mind Oasis if they grew up on Teenage Fanclub.

Though the last four songs were actually recorded before the first four, it's pretty hard to tell. Other than a slightly different recording quality and a minor stylistic change, you'd never know the difference. All the patches of hooky guitars and fuzzy psyche-rock are present from beginning to end, with no weak spots to be found. If bands like Swervedriver, The Lemonheads, and Slowdive or even rougher outfits like Husker Du appeal to you, do yourself a favor and spend sometime with Cheatahs. Previously only available in the UK, this release shows that these guys could and should do some serious damage in the area of becoming everyone's new favorite band in the States as well.

Rating: A-

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© 2013 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Wichita Recordings, and is used for informational purposes only.