Cheatahs debut self-titled album is out this week *cue tears of joy* via Wichita Recordings (CD/LP, iTunes or stream at Pitchfork Advance). Regular readers will know I’ve spammed written a lot about these guys over the past twelve months, so it’s a relief when an album meets high expectations. With the release of the singles ‘The Swan’, ‘Kenworth’, ‘Cut The Grass’ and ‘Get Tight’, a large portion of the record was already available going in, but the remaining album cuts are no less impressive. The London-based rock act previously released the EP’s ‘Coared’ and ‘Sans’ (available as the ‘Extended Plays’ album) but this is a step up. The four piece put more emphasis on vocal harmonies, and aren’t afraid to make dramatic shifts in their sound to keep it fresh. Album cut ‘Leave To Remain’ is an example of this, where you can hear the multiple stomp boxes being kicked on and off.
Cheatahs – ‘Leave To Remain’
The 90s rock influence is explicit, from the Dinosaur Jr. sounding ‘Northern Exposure’ to the Ride meets MBV feel of ‘Fall’, pretty sure these guys love Swervedriver too! Despite the shoegaze overtones and noisy wash, it’s an upbeat record overall. ‘Cheatahs’ avoids being self-deprecating, it’s got plenty of party pleasers and no doubt is great for the stage.
Cheatahs – ‘IV’
What began eight years ago between frontman Nathan Hewitt and guitarist James Wignall has matured into a strong creative partnership. The Brits (and a Canadian) started recording in a Cornwall cottage before moving to Dropout studios in Camberwell, and they didn’t leave a stone unturned. I’m not sure where Cheatahs can go from here but I’m glad we’ve got this album. A must listen for rock fans. Enough said, I’ll quit gushing!
Cheatahs – ‘Geographic’ [Live At Dropout]
Visit Cheatahs online @ Wichita Recordings @ Facebook.
Dust off your silver jumpsuit and get set for some vintage sci-fi, courtesy of psych/gaze outfit Cull. ‘The Sacred Burial Urn’ is taken from the Sydney foursome’s debut EP ‘Bà Nội‘ (grabbit)! Which is awesome, the only downside is the title is real tricky to type! Apparently it means ‘grandmother’ in Vietnamese. Thanks Google, but you’re probably wrong.
Cull – ‘The Sacred Burial Urn’ [VIDEO]
As Happy reports, Melbourne-based shoegazers Lowtide will be playing Yah Yahs tomorrow night with Alpine Decline and Orange. The four piece have already mixed a new album, but there’s no release date as yet. In the meantime, check out the quartet’s 2011 single ‘Underneath Tonight‘ (originally released via Departed Sounds). Listen to more over at Soundcloud, you won’t regret it!
Lowtide – ‘Underneath Tonight’
Visit Lowtide @ Soundcloud @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.
Here’s an energetic slice of noise pop to round off your week! ‘Twilight’ is taken from AstroAttack‘s debut self-titled album, released late last year via Death Tape (iTunes). The Japanese four piece have been crafting overblown sounds since 2008 but re-invented themselves a few years ago before getting to work on the LP. Hyogo locals can catch AstroAttack this Sunday at Kobe Slope.
AstroAttack – ‘Twilight’
Visit AstroAttack online @ Soundcloud @ Facebook.
It’s been ten years in the making but XO‘s debut album ‘Heart‘ is finally available this week via Rory Records (physical / digital / iTunes). XO was established by Georgia’s Jeff and Jake Turner (of Say Anything) as a side project inspired by MBV, Sonic Youth and The Beach Boys. PureVolume premiered the ‘Sweet’ video this week, an example of how their shoegaze and lo-fi surf rock influences combine. ‘Heart’ is full of sunny pop melodies and falsetto ‘ooh ahhs’ against chainsaw-like distortion. It sounds like Teenage Fanclub with a fuzz addiction to me, and that’s no bad thing!
XO – ‘Sweet’ [VIDEO]
Visit XO @ Rory Records @ Tumblr @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.
Tashaki Miyaki are releasing a fresh 7inch on their own label Blonde Dog on February 25 called ‘Cool Runnings‘ <insert obligatory Jamaican bobsled gag here>. Their latest isn’t a big step away from the dreamy downbeat psych pop they’re renowned for. Nonetheless the L.A. band are consistently good, expect a full length before the year is out.
Tashaki Miyaki – ‘Cool Runnings’
After an epic 80 shows alongside the likes of Weekend, Whirr, The Telescopes and Beach Fossils, Brooklyn shoegazers Dead Leaf Echo announce a new EP ‘true.deep.sleeper‘ (out February 25 through Moon Sounds Records). A release party will be held at Union Pool followed by a 20 date tour across Canada and the USA. Dead Leaf Echo’s debut LP ‘Thought & Language‘ received plenty of praise last year, and a full length follow up isn’t far off. The four piece have already entered the studio to begin work on their second album.
Dead Leaf Echo – ‘true.deep.sleeper’
Prepare your eardrums for a battering! Toronto-based trio Odonis Odonis venture into industrial noise rock territory with ‘New Obsession‘, the lead single from their forthcoming album ‘Hard Boiled Soft Boiled’ (out April 15 via Buzz Records). The concept is, one side of the record is abrasive, the other is soft n’ dreamy (the PR mentions Slowdive and Cocteaus).
Odonis Odonis – ‘New Obsession’
Visit Odonis Odonis online @ Buzz Records @ Facebook.
Solo artist Alec Grefe has been producing music under the moniker Astronaut Husband since 2012 but is also a member of Wisconsin four piece Haunter. His dreamy acoustic creations grabbed my attention on the fantastic EP ‘Supergiant Blues‘ and this week the beautiful new record ‘Drip‘ was released. Astronaut Husband really deserves a wide audience, this is brilliant work. Stream or download the rest at Bandcamp.
Astronaut Husband – ‘Tattoo Land’
This week Italian dream pop outfit Be Forest deliver their second album ‘Earthbeat’ (via We Were Never Being Boring). In addition, the four piece have announced a string of European tour dates. Since releasing their debut album ‘Cold’ in 2011 Be Forest have evolved, this time round it’s a much warmer, outward looking album. With the addition of synth specialist Lorenzo Badioli, the group is now a four piece, enabling a broader scope. But rather than adding an electronic layer, this has had the opposite effect, as Lorenzo opts for organic keyboard sounds (vibes, bells and only an occasional electronic swell). ‘Earthbeat’ also favours percussive rhythms, Drummer Erica Terenzi mixes it up throughout, keeping time with toms and shakers rather than the familiar sound of the hi-hat. This is where the Native American influence of the record really shines through. ‘Earthbeat’ is a breath of fresh air, a well considered collection of songs and one of the best albums I’ve heard this year. It’s also proof positive that an endless swathe of effects pedals isn’t a prerequisite for the genre. Not that that’s a bad thing! Highly recommended.
Be Forest – ‘Earthbeat’ (Album Stream)