It’s easy to hide behind the iconic haze of early 90s fuzz and warble sweet nothings, make emotion king and be done with it. This new melting pot of a London-based quartet are more than that, though, dipping their toes in the melodic distortion of every fine weaver of it before them, from Dinosaur Jr. to Swervedriver, but striking pure coming-of-age angst sentiments as soon as a reverb knob is turned. “Why am I such a fuck up,” James Wignall embraces all skateboard and bubble-gum free on the final moments of this 13.9-minute EP.
Along the way the boys with roots spanning Canada, England, Germany and America are clearly showcasing a love for the jam, as they wrestle through self-deprecating images of bleeding swans, half-suns and un-startable fires hit the mic, Marc Raue wooly-mammothing the drums, Dean Reid, Nathan Hewitt and James gang-crunching guitar hooks like three J. Mascis clones, James tapping cathartic wails at just the right moment:
Take me cross the coastal border
Fill my lungs with English sun
You’re the one that I’ve been after
It’s been so long, been so long
Neil Young spanked Crazy Horse‘s ass this year with a 27:37 opening slow-squall that’s 10-minutes longer than Cheatahs’ entire statement here. Neil Young is Neil Young. And the Cheatahs are the Cheatahs. But for a record dubbed SANS – archaic Latin for ‘without’ – here are four young hearts who want blissed-out meaning and they want it now, shortcomings and all.