At various points since the 1960s people have declared that groups of guitars are on the way out; that the electric guitar has been shaped and distorted in so many ways that all new avenues are exhausted. Bands with guitars seem happy to slot themselves into pre-determined genres, and pay homage to the past.

Cheatahs are a two-year-old band from London but their music sounds far from new. It follows the path established by the classic guitar bands of the late '80s and early '90s, bands who were also in love with the pioneering music of the Byrds and the Ramones in the previous decades. Some of the band members have past connections with fellow London bands Male Bonding and Weird Dreams, though Cheatahs sound heavier, and more grungy, than the association with those bands suggests.

Cheatahs, their self titled debut album, proudly wears its influences on its sleeve – the hook laden grunge of Hüsker Dü, the sonic adventures of My Bloody Valentine, the pop tunes of Teenage Fanclub– but after a few listens you begin to realise that there are enough strong hooks, riffs, and downright edgy noise to make Cheatahs a memorable band in their own right.

After a 40 second intro of noise and fuzz, the first song 'Geographic' grabs the attention with some fat grungy chords and a slightly submerged male vocal, and just when you think you've had enough, it works in a super catchy guitar hook in the closing section, reminiscent of Joy Division.

At times the guitar work is as melodic as their vocal lines, especially on tunes like 'The Swan', 'Cut the Grass' and 'Northern Exposure'. Interestingly the band recorded and produced this record themselves, a move that has paid off, as the finished album sounds really powerful. Despite the heavy weight of the influences, the production does a good job of updating that grunge/ shoegaze sound.

There is a sense of experimentation too. 'IV' and 'Get Tight' are awash with guitars, tremelo action and reverse reverb, whilst the aforementioned 'Cut The Grass' comes complete with a breakdown in the middle where all the rhythm is removed before relaunching into the main riff until the end. Of course that is exactly the sort of deconstructive trick that My Bloody Valentine pull, and in fact the little musical add-ons and teases and flourishes dotted throughout this album give it the feel of something Kevin Shields may have done. Those tend to work well in the context of Cheatahs although 'Kenworth' is so much of a homage to MBV, it manages to sound like a few of their songs at once.

This album also works when the band take their foot of the gas a bit. 'Mission Creep' is downbeat and moody, with a melody that weaves a spell, and 'Loon Falls' is a reluctant anthem with the refrain "let's play minor chords" making for a pleasantly reflective closing track.

Ultimately Cheatahs is a tricky album to judge. At times it seems to be too much under the influence of My Bloody Valentine – even the cover art evokes them – and their contemporaries, yet it does what it does very well and it would be harsh to overlook the fact that this is a strong debut in its own right.