Cheatahs – Cut The Grass/Kenworth (Wichita)

The London four-piece don't push any boundaries, but do enough to keep fans salivating for their full-length

Released Oct 13th, 2013 via Wichita / By Larry Day
Cheatahs – Cut The Grass/Kenworth (Wichita) Back in the hazy, distant memories of last year's halcyon November, Cheatahs released their impressive debut EP, entitled SANS, with many drawing comparisons to the sepia-toned golden era of shoegaze back in the early '90s, and acts like Swervedriver. Now, with their as-yet-unnamed full-length tabled (early 2014 is the rumoured ETA), the foursome are dropping a double A-side release with all the bombast of a chestburster.

The London-based fuzz-pop quartet have a cosmopolitan background, with the members hailing from Germany, Canada, the UK and the USA, each bringing a broad palette of different influences and cultures. Together, much like a Power Rangers Megazord, they form into a giant robot something more than the sum of their parts, showcasing a feral pop streak with nods to My Bloody Valentine, a woozy psych deluge and quasi-punk furore. They distance themselves from other shoegaze revivalists like Yuck and The History Of Apple Pie by harnessing raw energy and a swaggering post-punk darkness, instead of revelling in the lackadaisical. They're more METZ (who they've recently supported in Europe) than Asobi Seksu.

On the double A-side release, there are two glittering efforts. The first, 'Cut The Grass', channels a warped kind of Joy Division, with the synth hook almost mimicking their magnum opus, 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'. On the guitar front, things are more Sexbeat. There are rolling waves of white noise like someone sharpening an axe; docile strums like the jangle of C86. It's a malevolent pop on display here, equal parts rebellious anarchy and bubblegum pep. 'Kenworth', the second number on the release, wields the grit more prominently. There's a chugging motorik and wild, flailing pre-choruses; the percussion is abrasive and manic. The vocals do nod to a glitzier atmosphere, but the harmonic and rhythmic melange is altogether more moshpitty.

Cheatahs are going from strength to strength with each release they unveil. In a sea of shoegaze and fuzz-rock, they're breaking new ground, albeit tentatively. The scraped-knee rawness of the aforementioned METZ and Eagulls is injected into the wall-of-noise fray, enabling the band to proffer a different facet in the form of skate-punk/neo-hardcore. It's not an overcooked thread, but one that does subtly set them aside from the rank'n'file. This double A-side doesn't really offer any new information – it's a stopgap snack between main courses – but it's entertaining nonetheless, and is going to have people engaged with the band in time for their upcoming LP.