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Cheatahs: Mythologies

November 18th, 2015 | by Connor McDonnell
Cheatahs: Mythologies
Album reviews
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The shoegaze restoration (or nu-gaze) that has become a recent revelation, is less of a dreamlike simulation than the 90s discover of the original shoegaze movement. Cheatahs have slipped themselves in to this bracket. Rather than a torrent of mixed up sounds, tangled and dizzy, the revivalists have loosened the sedating tendrils of dream noise, presenting something sharper and more perceivable.

Rather than a torrent of mixed up sounds, tangled and dizzy, the revivalists have loosened the sedating tendrils of dream noise, presenting something sharper and more perceivable

We can hear this in the opening track to Cheatahs’ Mythologies, ‘Red Lakes (Sternstunden)’. The band’s earlier post-punk DIY sounds leak through on ‘Red Lakes…’, annunciating the percussion, yet muddling the drums so that the construction of rhythm-guitar-vocal harmonies are not always determined by one another. Instead, what we hear is respective melodies from each. This is not unlike what we hear in bands such as Gengahr, Beach House and No Joy, a band Cheatahs are shameless to admit admiration for.

‘Freak Waves’ takes Mythologies on a completely different adventure, one with lo-fi, surf-rock destinations, with the simple fuzzy three-chord riff as the scaffolding for this track. This leads us to the James Wignall’s synth swells on ‘Signs to Lorelei’, followed by ‘Hey, Sen’, a song which is “an example of how one person would bring in an idea, and someone else would champion it and reinterpret it.” This democratic approach to Cheatahs’ music probably equated to some of the harmonic deconstruction.

The lead single from the album, titled ‘Seven Sisters’, has a lingering dimension of distance between instrumentation and lyrics, which is filled by the reverberated vocals. This production method leaves a hollow for the guitar’s break to fill, with alacrity.

Mythologies has many tones, coming from the nature of nu-gaze artists finding a place for the dissemination of the shoegaze ethic of layers-upon-layers. Cheatahs sophomore album is this years’ nu-gaze idol.

Connor McDonnell

4.5/5

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