Sans is the second release this year by Nathan Hewitt's brainchild Cheatahs. At first it was a project that started off as a solo venture, Hewitt just wanted to write songs and not just be whacking away on the old guitar as he was doing in bands before Cheatahs (These were Little Death and more recently Male Bonding). Things kind of fell into place for Hewitt as he no longer was on his own. Cheatahs became a four-piece band that churned out punchy pop sounds with a shoegaze topping. First EP Coared was indeed a fierce guitar based record that had influences from the likes of the Lemonheads and Dinosaur Jr. Sans on the other hand has a more melodic pop feel to it channeling Britain's finest pop-punk bands from the last 15 years.
It feels like a British indie rock revival when you listen to the intro of opening track 'The Swan'. After thirty seconds you expect to hear Tim Wheeler (Ash) coming in with his signature pop-punk purr and enjoyable hooks. This is exactly what you get from Sans. Four tracks of a resurrected British pop punk from the late nineties and early noughties. Riffs and licks that take you back to the days when your clothing was a little baggier.
However this is also the downfall of the EP too, as there is little difference between all four tracks here. Hewitt's vocals and tone are near carbon copies of each other. His melodic groaning goes well for one or two tracks, but on a second listen it gets to the point where he could of just recycled the same lines from one song and pasted them into the other three tracks. You barely notice a change.
This EP offers a swift scent of nostalgia for people who grew up with British punk-pop from the mid-nineties. This is strange considering Cheatahs aren't a British band; the four members are from completely different places with separate jobs when they are not making music. However if the ambition is there for this band, and having a great label behind them (Wichita Records) that will help them develop their sound, there is every chance that that the whiff of nostalgia will be a little stronger when they come round to releasing an album in the near future.