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. Only their debut full length, 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 base lines 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 a hell of a ride.

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