Cheatahs at Birthdays
The low ceiling beckons loud volume and deep echoes as Birthdays waits patiently for Cheatahs’ album launch.
Cheatahs emerge modestly. The band pick up their instruments, quietly confident yet meek and understated with their stage presence. The tight and yet pleasingly expansive sound fills every inch of the room. Meanwhile the reverb-drenched vocals smooth over any cracks or edges. If you like your music dense, with the lead guitar doing as much talking as the singer you’d have a good time here tonight. There are relentless drums with a good momentum of songs and Nathan Hewitt’s vocals/rhythm guitar has a relaxed and friendly approach to the audience. There is no denying the transatlantic sound, with a grunge crunch combining with dreamy smooth guitar lines and soft shoegaze vocals. Cheatahs do their thing and do it well and its clear even though this is their debut album that they have playing together a while.
Get Tight is a strong single – still there is no completely escaping their alternative rock influences such as Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. The set is solid, with highlights such as the organ-soaked Cut the Grass, memorable Geographic, and pace changing Mission Creep.
Cheatahs know what they’re doing, but for that breakthrough they are going to need to be a lot less niche in the future. A little sex appeal and some attitude wouldn’t go amiss either. Shoegaze is not a genre for showmanship but that doesn’t mean no stage presence. If they head further into their original brand of distorted hook-laced grunge without getting their vocals lost underneath, it could be a winning recipe. In the meantime it’s still a heady mix musically for long drives and sleepy days lost in thought.
Photo: Paul Hudson
For further information and future events visit Cheatah’s website here.
Watch the video for Get Tight here: