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LIVEDC: WAVVES W/ FIDLAR AND CHEATAHS @ ROCK AND ROLL HOTEL


UK’s Cheatahs took the stage shortly after 8 to a quarter-full audience. In contrast to the bratty, skate-punk of their two tour mates, Cheatahs sounded like an uptempo shoegaze group circa London 1991. I wouldn’t go as far as to say they sounded like the great MBV, but a more apt comparison would be to Ride or Swervedriver. These cats can’t really sing either, but it didn’t diminish from a propulsive and impressive set. I, for one, will be looking out for their forthcoming debut album.

LA’s Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk (FIDLAR) didn’t hesitate to jump right into their buzzy single “Cheap Beer,” which got the mostly underage crowd moving. (It is somewhat ironic that many were unable to partake in the $4 Pabst Blue Ribbon tallboy special, but so it goes.) On the whole, the band’s screeching, quick-witted punk songs focused on getting drunk, doing drugs, and being a drag on society.

The sold-out crowd finally packed the club in anticipation of Wavves’ pessimistic pop-punk. The surprisingly diminutive Nathan Williams—curses on making “Wavves height” an impossible search query after naming his new album Afraid of Heights—and his group, former confederates of deceased Memphis punk saboteur Jay Reatard, appeared onstage at 10 and ripped through an efficient, hour-long set.

Opener “Idiot” started the night off with a burst of energy, as Williams sang, “I won’t ever die / I’m a hero in my mind.” The setlist was dominated by songs off his most recent albums, but he also included early single “Friends Were Gone” and “Bug”, the strongest track off 2011’s Life Sux EP. The audience’s energy remained high throughout the night, but Wavves’ biggest hits, “King of the Beach” and recent single “Demon To Lean On”, were the evening’s highlights, even if it was somewhat disturbing to watch a gaggle of undergrads scream, “Holding a gun to my head.”

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