Personnel: James Wignall (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Nathan Hewitt (vocals, guitar); Marc Raue (vocals, keyboards, drums); Dean Reid (vocals, keyboards, programming).
Recording information: Big Jelly Studios, Ramsgate (2014-2015); Chem 19 Studios, Glasgow (2014-2015); Dean's House (2014-2015); Gun Factory Studios, London (2014-2015); Marc's House (2014-2015).
Mythologies is London quartet Cheatahs' second full-length in as many years, and that doesn't take into account the armload of singles and EPs they've produced since beginning as a solo project of frontman Nathan Hewitt in 2009. The group is still mining the sounds of the early '90s for inspiration (particularly shoegaze and American indie rock bands such as Dinosaur Jr.), but this time out there's a bit more emphasis on atmosphere and texture, with trippy production effects such as backwards vocals on display. There are still plenty of chiming, gliding guitars, but electronics play a bigger role here, with hazy keyboards melting over songs like "Signs to Lorelei." On many songs, vocals recede into the background so that the sonic pyrotechnics can do most of the talking. The taut, Motorik rhythms of Neu! bear an obvious influence on uptempo, breezy songs like "In Flux." On "Hey, Sen," they pit sentimental melodies and lyrics up against gently scorching guitar noise, and "Colorado" begins with fast, driving storms of serrated guitars before clearing out to a drifting, ambient coda. "Su-Pra" bounces between cascading neon synths and gleefully wacked-out guitar abstractions, while riding a wavelike rhythm. On Mythologies, Cheatahs expand on the surreal, otherworldly aspects of their sound, and seem to take abundant pleasure in wringing sweetness out of caustic, discordant noises. ~ Paul Simpson