Not only did Roland Barthes’ essay influence the name of Cheatahs’ new album, but the feel – present through the veneer of distorted guitar and hazy vocals – is a sense of shifting meanings and unclear symbolism.This may be their debut full length, but the record oozes assurance. The driving rhythms and frantic drumming of their punkier early days remain but the overall sense is of swimming through colourful swamps, as acidic basslines slide beneath you and raucous energy waves above. Highlights include the expansive cinematic sprawl of ‘Murasaki’, the motoring pace of ‘Flux’, ‘Channel View’’s sonic pummelling, and ‘Seven Sisters’, a beautiful piece of euphoric shoegaze. The sound of sketchy back-alleys still underpins the traversing vibe – this is just further along the journey. And it’s a hell of a ride.
Live: XOYO – January 19th