The King Cheetah - The King Cheetah (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The King Cheetah

The King Cheetah (2005)


I often wonder about just what kind of selection process a band goes through to pick their names. Some are easy enough; I doubt anybody will be questioning Dave Matthews about how his band's name came about, but for the most part, the answer is just a little bit more ambiguous. Why the King Cheetah? The music isn't particularly fast, as is the cheetah's trademark, though it can have a fair amount of bite at times if that's what they were alluding to.

The trio, straight from across the pond, makes no bones about what their musical aim is; they're here to rock. The British post-punk export displays a snotty attitude and an arrogant savvy that carries well into their musical endeavors. Sneering front-man Robert Paul Maune delivers his lyrics with an attitude that just screams "fuck you." He doesn't have to come and say it outright, but his vocal technique makes it more than apparent that that's what he's thinking. The fuzzy, bass-driven "Burning Here Tonight" is not representative of the entire album with its style, but it does show the attitude that the King Cheetah gives off with their lyrics. The band is quite confident in their shoes, and their words reflect that. Be that a more rocking, post-punk venture, or a much more downplayed, subdued effort such as "Vampire State Building," which showcases the lyrical content in the most effective manner:

Every straw is short, every second bought, every life is blighted / Why do I feel constantly so under whelmed by what I buy? / Every moment of existence I am cheated of my birthright, where's the satisfying climax? / Where's the life you've been promising, where's the life you've promised me? / On TV it looks like gold, in the store it shines like silver, in my bag it gleams like copper / Every time the very same; in my hands it turns to shit.
Evoking a very clam, haunting quality, the band effortlessly closes out what was a short but effective blast of enthusiasm. Though the best is clearly saved for last, that's not to say there's no other points of interest on the album. Songs like "Six Inch Killaz" keep the mood light and the momentum going throughout, with some great albeit relatively simple guitar work and drumming. The structures aren't the most complicated I've heard, but it's certainly not child's play either. "The City At The Edge Of The World" lets the band be pretty creative with their arrangements, making it one of the album's more diverse and more enjoyable tracks.

Not as fast as a speeding bullet, or quite as ferocious as any threatening wild animals, but the King Cheetah have definitely put a good amount of thought into crafting a solid post-punk album with great vocals and rhythms to match. Check it out.