London quartet unveil their fuzzadelic miasma of a debut album
Wonderful thing, retrospect. Looking back at the early ‘90s, Cheatahs – from London via Dresden, San Diego, Alberta and, um, Leicester – can cherry-pick hints of MBV’s ‘Isn’t Anything’ and ‘Loveless’, Dinosaur Jr’s ‘Bug’, Lush’s ‘Spooky’ and Kitchens Of Distinction’s ‘Strange Free World’ to create a fuzzadelic miasma that effortlessly merges shoegaze and grunge. Gru-gaze, if you will: the more UK-slanted accompaniment to Menace Beach’s wobbly Sub Pop reinventions. Like many nu-shoe proponents (Radio Dept, say), Cheatahs’ debut neatly avoids the old shoegazing pitfall of drowning weak melodies in oceans of shimmer, coming on as hazy but hook-strong as early Teenage Fanclub. There are patches of sonic soup – ‘Kenworth’ suffers from a particularly acute case of moaning flange – but overall, Cheatahs is a triumph of content over style: a gleaming pop wrecking ball taken to the sonic cathedral.