Cheatahs – Sunne EP

SunneLondon-based quartet Cheatahs barely paused for breath in 2014. With the release of their acclaimed debut self-titled album, coupled with a relentless touring schedule, it was the year they arrived in the minds of music lovers across the nation with an eardrum-shattering, over-driven guitar squeal. As we head deeper into the New Year, Cheatahs are not letting up, instead building on the success and momentum of the last few months with the release of new EP, Sunne EP.

In a recent DrunkenWerewolf interview, frontman Nathan Hewitt described the release as "four tracks that we've pushed the production side of things on. From just using one mic in a room to adding warped cassette loops. I think the EP marks a shift in direction for us, at least in the recording of it anyway." He has hit the nail on the head. Fans of their debut album will be familiar with the brand of shoegaze meets noise rock - imagine Kevin Shields playing with Dinosaur Jr. - spouted on said album, but on the Sunne EP Cheatahs’ push that sound even further.

On opening track "Sunne" the now familiar shoegaze influenced guitar loops lap over a hypnotic krautrock drumbeat, setting the tone for the rest of the EP. The punishing "Campus" follows. With its feedback heavy rhythm guitars and heavy reverb on the lead lines, it's the most similar to the set of songs on their debut record. However, it;s with third track "Controller" that the band proves how far they have come over the last twelve months. Interspersed between gorgeous guitar melodies are heavy as hell fuzz guitar breakdowns while lyrics concerning inertia and melancholy meander over the top. It's not only the best track on the EP; it's the best track Cheatahs have ever recorded. Period.

In fact the only thing that holds the EP back is final track, "No Drones". The pummeling punk drums don’t really fit with the direction the previous three tracks take, instead making the addition feel more of an afterthought to lengthen the EP.

This aside, the Sunne EP is the sound of a band maturing and becoming better at what they do, which is making genre-blending rock music. With hints from the band to a further EP later in the year and subsequent tours, it looks to be another big year for Cheatahs.

Release: 23rd February 2015, Wichita 

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