Who are The King Cheetah?
Just three more English musicians who had wound up in Los Angeles and decided to stay?
Well in a way ,yes: they found it cheap and welcoming, this bohemian boomtown of wild energy and manic desperation, and London was not home anymore, just a place they had left behind. LA was the necessary antidote to London’s repressive damp gloom, but it was more than that. LA in the early 21st century appears to them as Berlin of the 1920s or Paris of the 30’s: the world’s elected art colony – a magnet for experiment and insanity. LA is a city where all languages are spoken and all possibilities are open, too fragmented for fashion, all pasts exists simultaneously with all futures. That’s perfect for The King Cheetah. It’s the summing up – no it’s the sweeping up on the morning after the orgiastic riot of the 20th Century, yet Los Angeles is also the future, and a promise of trouble to come.
You need a label for their sound? It’s Militant Rock’N’Roll.
I frequently hear them described as the best band in Los Angeles, to which these eternally modest Englishmen smile, and murmer their reply: ‘Really?….so what!’
The King Cheetah want more, The King Cheetah aspire to be the Caesers of furiously raging apocalyptic musical prophecy. The western world is going down in flames and they will serenade its fall like three English Neros.
Don’t think for a second that you’ve met something like this before. This is new, this is brilliant.
And this is trouble in depth.
- E. LUCE
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THE KING CHEETAH
THE KING CHEETAH L.P.
THE KING CHEETAH L.P. is the debut full-length disc from London's best new band in decades. The King Cheetah is aggressive and passionate, and the music reflects it all. Track 1, "Squaddie Meat", begins with drummer Simon Hancock torturing his drums with brutal, pounding statements. Then Robin Holden's thick, air-eating bass and the surfish guitar of Robert Paul Maune weigh in together. These three are an amazing band. Robert's voice is sharp, smart, and creatively issues cool-as-hell melodies, and his lyrics are as masterful as his guitar work. People will be talking about the first time they heard THE KING CHEETAH L.P. 20 years from now. No matter what song you hear last, that song plays in your head all day. Go buy THE KING CHEETAH L.P. immediately.
Reviewed by H. Barry Zimmerman
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This U.K. threesome packs a punch!
I’ve listened to a lot of CDs this year. Very few of them, if any, inspired me to tear off all my clothes, throw open the windows and thrash around the living room. Only one actually had me DOING it. This is it. The best indie disc I’ve heard this year.
This U.K. threesome packs a punch. From the opening war-drums on "Squaddie Meat," the arrogant funk-vamp of "No No No,” to the prize-winning best song title of ’05, "Vampire State Building," the King Cheetah have got the power. It’s a gritty, dirty Brit sound; imagine standing on stage in a pile of broken beer bottles two feet thick, trying to sing as a leather sofa burns in front of the stage. That is the sound of The King Cheetah.
This group isn’t concerned with the neighbors' sleep schedules. If you invite them to your party, they will most likely commandeer your stereo and play Iggy and the Stooges at maximum volume until the cops arrive, then retreat down the fire escape while you face the consequences. A risk worth taking.
They would hurl a mike stand at me for making comparisons, so let’s just say I can easily see them playing a double bill with the Manic Street Preachers, whom the Cheetahs probably hate. So much the better. That kind of rivalry makes for blistering shows. Bring it, boys.
If The King Cheetah isn’t scooped up by filmmaker Guy Ritchie for his next UK crime movie, ala Ocean Color Scene and Iggy Pop, it will be a sickening travesty. If you enjoy in-your-face music with fast-and-loose guitars and bass guitars set to "kill," this is the disc of the summer. Why they moved from Jolly Old England to California, I’ll never know. Cali is Chili Pepper country, home of West Coast gangsta rappas and snot-nosed brat punk. The group sounds like it would be more at home in Detroit, where the dirty buildings and factory soot compliments their fabulous sound much better than sunshine and clear skies.
Reviewed by J. Wallace
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THE KING CHEETAH at the Echo, March 1
Though the King Cheetah have relocated to L.A., the English trio’s sound and demeanor remain proudly post-punk British. Black-clad and suede-headed, they exude a bristling disillusionment with, well, everything. Their attitude is more confrontational than wallowing, pumped with the fists-in-the-air optimism of a summer’s night riot and bathed in a rough-hewn workingman’s romanticism.
The flagship tune, “Six Inch Killaz,” hangs and harangues on Robin Holden’s stubbly Stranglers bass line, while hoarsely sensitive, alienated Psychedelic Furs verses bookend a lurching chorus that’s equal parts pop anthem and hooligan herd call. But there’s nothing moronic or morose here. The King Cheetah are masters of three-piece dynamics — each Cheetah knows when not to play, and they reserve the option of three-way vocal vitriol when points need hammering home. Robert Mune’s cultured rhythm-guitar playing is deceptively vital, segmented stop-start sections liberated with tumbling, fuzzy arpeggios. The angular Holden’s Bruce Foxton bass work is mobile, melodic and menacing, while Simon Hancock’s studied grooves lurk with intent before detonating beneath the big moments. The King Cheetah’s very manly frustrations are offset by a boyish, before-the-bedroom-mirror delight at just being onstage, at being able to vent in front of their mates, at being allowed to live their teen dream.
These rabble-rousing, blue-collar blokes nonetheless are unafraid to show a croaking, Bowie-esque sensitive side and, dare we say it, dabble with artiness. Like Paul Weller, whose stage rage he channels, Mune is both Doc Marten and paisley shirt, scribbled poetry and wall-daubed slogan. And the King Cheetah have the tunes to make us listen, never pandering, never carpet-bombing when squint-eyed sniping will suffice. Out of step with fashion’s hypnotized parade, the King Cheetah remind us that real men play whatever the fuck they want.
Reviewed by Paul Rogers
L.A. Weekly, Vol. 27, N° 17